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Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium welcomes newborn Western lowland gorilla, a critically endangered species

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium welcomed a new, adorable addition on Valentine's Day.

The zoo released the first photos of the baby on Friday, a little less than a month after her arrival on Feb. 14, 2023. The newborn female gorilla is healthy and thriving under the care of her mom, Ibo, zoo officials said.

This photo released by the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium shows the newborn baby gorilla with her mom, Ibo. (Source: Paul Selvaggio/Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium)

This is Ibo's second baby. The 32-year-old gorilla welcomed her first when she was just 8-years-old. The zoo said gorillas living in zoos can live into their 50s.

"With this new baby coming later in life, Ibo is a great mom," Karen Vacco, Assistant Curator of Mammals at the zoo, said. "She is showing off the baby, cradling, and nursing. She naturally knows what to do and doesn't need any intervention from staff. We are tracking their progress, and they're both doing really well."

The baby does not have a name yet.

Officials at the zoo said they are holding a naming contest. You can submit a name suggestion for a $5 donation on their website. The top suggestions will be vetted by the staff and then go on for final selection.

To submit a name suggestion, click here.

This arrival is a "welcome addition to the species as a whole," zoo officials said.

Western lowland gorillas are listed as a critically endangered species due to their rapidly declining population, the zoo said.

This photo released by the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium shows the newborn baby gorilla. (Source: Paul Selvaggio/Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium)

The zoo said this new baby gorilla is the first of several additions expected at the Pittsburgh Zoo this year. They will also be celebrating their 125th anniversary.

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