It's a girl! 19-year-old lowland gorilla gives birth at Woodland Park Zoo

SEATTLE -- Woodland Park Zoo announced that its 19-year-old western lowland gorilla Nadiri gave birth Friday morning to a baby girl.

Nadiri was in active labor about four hours and appeared to begin having contractions at about 8 a.m.; the baby was born at about 11:30 a.m.

Dr. Darin Collins, Woodland Park Zoo’s director of animal health, said the average weight for a gorilla at birth is 4 pounds. “Our new baby weighs a healthy 5 pounds. Her vital signs look good and she is physically normal,” said Collins.

Following the exam, staff placed the baby in close proximity to Nadiri to evaluate her interest.

“Unfortunately, Nadiri didn’t approach her baby or show any interest,” said Ramirez.

The zoo said the baby is currently in a bedroom next to Nadiri’s den and the other two gorillas in her group.

“Our goal is to methodically expose Nadiri to her baby and help kick in that maternal instinct. She remains within visual contact and has content vocalized toward her baby, so she’s showing some interest. We’ll continue these efforts as long as we see positive interactions.

“The baby has successfully taken her first bottle, and we are prepared to bottle feed and provide round-the-clock care until Nadiri shows signs she wants her baby,” said Ramirez.

The newborn marks the first gorilla born at the zoo in eight years and the 13th gorilla birth at the zoo.

The father of the newborn is 36-year-old Vip, who has sired six other offspring with three different females at the zoo, the zoo said.