First gorilla born in Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.— Knoxville Zoo is excited to announce the birth of an endangered Western lowland gorilla, the first gorilla ever born in Knoxville.

The baby was born at approximately 2:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 28, 2015, to 31-year-old mother Hope, who came to Knoxville in 2012 from Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, on the recommendation of the Western Lowland Gorilla Species Survival Plan.

Both mother and baby appear to be doing very well, and Knoxville Zoo staff are continuously monitoring them and the zoo’s gorilla group, which includes females Kowali and Machi and first-time father Bantu.

As long as the baby and Hope continue to do well and there are no concerns about their interaction with the other members of the family group, zoo staff will not intervene and let Hope do what comes naturally to a gorilla mother.

Hope's baby