CINCINNATI – Cincinnati Zoo officials are planning the facility’s first gorilla birth in nearly eight years after discovering a gorilla at the facility is pregnant.
Asha, an 11-year-old Western lowland gorilla at the zoo, is due to give birth this July.
This is Asha’s first pregnancy and will be the first gorilla born at the Cincinnati Zoo since 2006, zoo spokesperson Tiffany Barnes said.
“That being said, the Cincinnati Zoo is no stranger to gorilla births,” Barnes said. “This will be the 49th gorilla born in Cincinnati – but this is the first time keepers and vets have ever done ultrasounds on mom during the pregnancy.”
Through daily conditioning, zookeepers have successfully worked with Asha and are able to perform ultrasounds on her several times a week to monitor the baby's growth and health, Barnes said.
Barnes sad Asha wasn’t fond of the ultrasound gel at first and would back away from keepers any time they presented it.
“Keepers tried putting water on her skin before applying the gel and that seemed to do the trick,” she said. “Now Asha receives her favorite snacks while staff get a sneak peek at the zoo’s next gorilla baby.”