The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium welcomed a new baby gorilla today into its long-standing surrogacy program.
Zahra (ZAR-uh) was born on September 9, 2017 at the Milwaukee County Zoo in Wisconsin but unfortunately lost both her father and mother in April.
She was transferred to the Columbus Zoo and will be placed with a surrogate mother.
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A gorilla preservation organization recommended that Zahra come to Columbus so that she can be raised by a stable family unit with a surrogate mother, a tolerant silverback male, and other females with offspring to act as peers.
“This is really the best option for Zahra, and we’re excited to see her start a new chapter in her life, and set her up as best we can so she continues to develop into a fully functioning adult gorilla,” said Milwaukee County Zoo Director Chuck Wikenhauser. “The Columbus Zoo has an excellent reputation for surrogate-raising gorillas, and will serve as the best, supportive home for Zahra’s growth, development and long-term care.”
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has been a pioneer of gorilla surrogacy for more than 30 years.