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Great Gorilla! Zoo Atlanta Welcomes Newborn Primate

(Image credit: Zoo Atlanta.)

There's a new princess at Zoo Atlanta.

Kudzoo, a western lowland gorilla , gave birth to a baby girl on May 9. Kudzoo and her offspring are Zoo Atlanta royalty she was the first-born offspring of world-famous gorilla Willie B. The newborn is the third grandchild of the iconic silverback, who passed away in 2000.

Kudzoo and her newborn , who appears to be healthy, strong and alert, are already on exhibit daily at Zoo Atlanta , according to the zoo's veterinary staff. This is the second offspring for Kudzoo, a 17-year-old female, and Taz, a 21-year-old male.

The baby girl's name will be chosen as part of a fundraiser at the zoo over the weekend.

(Image credit: Zoo Atlanta.)

Kudzoo was born on Feb. 8, 1994, one of four offspring of Willie B. Olympia, 14; Willie B., Jr., 13; Sukari, 12; and Lulu, 11 that all still reside at Zoo Atlanta. Kudzoo's mother, Choomba, 50, also lives at the zoo. Kudzoo's first offspring, Macy Baby, turned 5 in December 2010.

"I've known Kudzoo since the day she was born, so it's especially rewarding to see her raising offspring of her own," said Charles Horton, the zoo's curator of primates. Horton worked with Willie B. for most of the silverback's life and became his closest human companion. "She's a great mom just like her mother Choomba was, and it's a special experience, watching a new generation grow up."

Zoo Atlanta is home to the nation's largest collection of gorillas, now with 24 living in distinct social groups. Since 1988, 19 gorillas have been born at Zoo Atlanta, 17 of whom still live on grounds. Kudzoo's mom, Choomba, is one of four geriatric gorillas living at the Zoo; her fellow senior citizens are Shamba, 51; Ozzie, 50; and Ivan, 49.

(Image credit: Zoo Atlanta.)
Live Science Staff
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