It's a boy!
Busch Gardens Tampa has welcomed a new baby gorilla into its fold.
The healthy baby lowland gorilla was born Dec. 16. He's the first child for Pele, who lives in Busch Gardens Tampa's Myombe Reserve habitat. Park officials believe his father is Bolingo.
This is Busch Gardens Tampa's second successful gorilla birth and the first since 2005. It brings the number of gorillas living in the 3-acre rainforest environment to six.
Mama Pele came to Busch Gardens Tampa in 2010 from the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas.
The as-yet unnamed baby gorilla is part of Busch Gardens Tampa's partnership in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan, which encourages institutions to cooperate in the management of endangered or threatened animal species.
Since 2004, Busch Gardens Tampa has supported the study of western lowland gorillas in Nouabale-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo through the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund. The study, coordinated by the Wildlife Conservation Society, focuses on the ecology and social behavior of lowland gorillas and has produced ground-breaking data on this species.
The baby gorilla is only the latest addition to Busch Gardens Tampa's animal collection.
The park announced last week that it was adding a recent arrival, Spike, a male Asian elephant to its herd of five females.