Updated: April 6, 2023





The Zoo is pleased to introduce Charlotte, our baby gorilla who you helped name! The name Charlotte, new to the gorilla species survival plan registry, was selected from almost 700 unique names submitted in our baby naming contest, which raised nearly $5,000 for animal care and Zoo upkeep. The winning name was suggested by three guests: Rachel R. from Pittsburgh, Nathan S. from Washington, and Rachel L. from Elizabeth; we will contact you to offer Zoo tickets! We thank all our participants, who submitted thoughtful, thematic, funny, beautiful, and heartwarming names – your support is helping build a future for animals like Charlotte. We hope you’ll come visit her soon!




The Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium is thrilled to announce a lovable new addition: a newborn female gorilla. The healthy baby was born on February 14, 2023 and has been thriving under the care of her 32 year old mother, Ibo. She is gradually being introduced to Zoo guests, with more steady public habitat time expected as the season progresses. The public is encouraged to get involved with a baby naming contest.

Western lowland gorillas are currently listed as critically endangered, as their population is rapidly decreasing. The newborn is a welcome addition to the species as a whole, and is the second baby for Ibo, though the newborn comes after quite a hiatus; Ibo’s last baby was born when she was just eight years old. Gorillas residing in zoos may live into their 50s.

“With this new baby coming later in life, Ibo is a great mom,” says Karen Vacco, Assistant Curator of Mammals. “She is showing off the baby, cradling, and nursing. She naturally knows what to do and doesn’t need any intervention from staff. We are tracking their progress, and they’re both doing really well.”

As for what to call the new addition, the Zoo is hosting a naming contest. For a $5 donation, guests can submit a name for the infant on pittsburghzoo.org. The top names vetted by keeper staff will then go on for a final selection.

The baby gorilla is the first of several exciting additions expected at the Pittsburgh Zoo this year, coinciding with the Zoo’s 125th anniversary. Animal fans can vote for a baby name on pittsburghzoo.org and keep an eye on Zoo social media pages @pghzoo for news and additional announcements.