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Endangered gorilla born at Chicago zoo

A western lowland gorilla at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago recently gave birth to a baby girl, the first of her species to be born at the zoo since 2005, The Associated Press reports.

The baby is a part of a species survival plan that matches potential mates to help perpetuate the gorilla species, which is listed as critically endangered, The Beacon-News reports.

First-time mother Bana, 16, mated with Kwan, a 22-year-old silverback gorilla who is also father to Amare, the last western lowland gorilla to be born at the zoo, the news source reports.

Zoo officials say that the baby seems to be happy and healthy, and that Bana has also been progressing over the past few days. The baby tightly gripped its mother on Monday, which is a sign of the baby's health, according to Maureen Leahy, the zoo's curator of primates. In addition, Bana has been rocking the baby when it is upset instead of walking around, which she initially did.

Leahy said that the zoo had confirmed the pregnancy in March, but was alerted to the birth when she arrived at work on November 16.

"She already had the infant cleaned off and was tending to it," Leahy told the media outlet. "The other [gorillas] were very curious. They actually clued me in." 
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