The Calgary Zoo says one of its gorillas is pregnant with her first baby.
Yewande, a 12-year-old western lowland gorilla, is due in early May, according to the zoo.
“We are cautiously optimistic as this is Yewande’s first baby,” director of animal care Jamie Dorgan said in a Monday news release.
“This marks the first gorilla baby in the troop since Kimani’s birth in 2016 and the Calgary Zoo’s new male silverback, Jasiri’s, first offspring.”
Dorgan admitted there are “lots of challenges” ahead to help Yewande successfully deliver a healthy baby and navigate troop family dynamics, but said the zoo’s animal care team will be helping her “every moment along the way.”
The Calgary Zoo said in advance of her birth, their team will continue training Yewande to make sure she’s comfortable when the infant arrives.
Direct intervention will only occur if the baby’s health and well-being is compromised, the zoo said.
The zoo said baby watch will officially commence in mid-April.
The average gestation period for a gorilla is 257 days.