Arts & Culture
6:00 am
Thu May 5, 2011

NC Zoo Expecting Baby Gorilla

Jamani
Credit NC Zoo

  A gorilla at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro is expecting. That's big news for the zoo which has only had one other gorilla birth in its history. Spokesman Rod Hackney has been at the zoo for 24 years and still remembers the last birth. It was 22 years ago in 1989.


Rod Hackney: "Yeah I was here for the last one and this is just as exciting as it was the last time. The most popular animal that you can have in a zoo is probably the gorilla because it is so rare and there are so few of them in captivity. There's only about 350 gorillas in 52 U.S. zoos. And they're very difficult to breed in captivity."

There were just six successful births last year. The zoo's first baby gorilla was credited with bringing 80,000 additional visitors to the zoo during his first year on exhibit. Hackney says the zoo could see an even bigger impact this time around. The first-time mother, 11 year old Jamani, is expected to deliver in July or August.