June 2nd, 2023

OH, BABY! Second baby gorilla born at Pittsburgh Zoo this year

Baby boy, Bo, was born on May 11; Zoo now has two distinct troops


Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium guests can now experience double the wonder: a second Western lowland gorilla, a baby boy, was born at the Zoo on May 11, 2023. The healthy boy and his mom, Moka, are both doing well. The newborn arrives during an exciting time at the Zoo for the survival of endangered species, joining fellow young resident Charlotte, a female gorilla, born on February 14 earlier this year.

The Zoo has hosted successful naming contests for recent animal additions, but in this case, animal care staff have already selected a name for the boy: Bo. The name was selected in honor of Bo’s late grandfather, Mimbo, who resided at the Pittsburgh Zoo until 2005.

Zoo guests may catch glimpses of Bo at any time, but shouldn’t expect to see the two gorilla infants playing together any time soon because they are with their immediate families. With a total of eight gorillas now in residence, the Zoo is now pleased to host two distinct gorilla troops who rotate through indoor, outdoor, and behind-the-scenes areas at various times. The two babies are in the two different family troops: Bo with older siblings Frank and Ivan, mom Moka, and silverback dad Mrithi; while baby Charlotte is with her mom Ibo and paternal figure Harry.

“Troops in the wild typically consist of one silverbacked male, females, and offspring, so this became a natural arrangement,” explains Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium Curator of Mammals, Kelsey Forbes. “The two groups do have constant visual access to one another, which allows both infants to see the other family members. Both troops are doing great.”

The Zoo is thrilled to be experiencing a baby boom: the two gorillas born this year join twin Amur leopard cubs born in March, as well as three consecutive nyalas born in February, March, and April. The gorillas and leopards are both particularly endangered species. Western lowland gorillas are critically endangered, with a rapidly decreasing population in the wild. The new babies at the Zoo will eventually aid the species with new genetics.

Bo is a wonderful addition, continuing the Zoo’s mission of conservation and coinciding with the Zoo’s 125th anniversary. Animal fans can keep an eye on Zoo social media pages @pghzoo for news and additional announcements, and continue to support the Zoo at pittsburghzoo.org/donations.