Gorilla birth expected at Busch Gardens
TAMPA, Fla, (970 WFLA) – Busch Gardens Tampa has announced that one of the park’s western lowland gorillas, 11-year-old Pele, is expecting her first baby in December, park representatives said Wednesday in a news release.
Park representatives said this pregnancy is part of the park’s participation in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP). They also said the mission of the SSP is to cooperatively manage specific, and typically threatened or endangered, species populations within AZA-accredited facilities. Western lowland gorillas are an endangered species.
More from Busch Gardens: Pele came to Busch Gardens in February 2010 from the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas. She quickly integrated into the park’s gorilla troop, and Bolingo, one of Busch Gardens’ male gorillas and the suspected sire, quickly became fond of her. Born in November 2005 at Busch Gardens, Bolingo was the first successful gorilla birth in Busch Gardens’ history. Both Pele and Bolingo, along with the other gorillas, can be seen in Myombe Reserve. Pele will continue to be on guest view until she gives birth.
Photo credit Busch Gardens