An expectant gorilla in New Orleans is being showered with gifts after the zoo she lives in set up an online baby registry.
Tumani, a critically endangered western lowland gorilla who lives at the Audubon Zoo in the Big Easy, is pregnant with what will be her first baby and the zoo’s first gorilla birth in 24 years, according to the zoo. And the 13-year-old mother-to-be is reaping the rewards of her labor with a registry packed with everything from toys to necessities.
“Audubon spends more than $70,000 a month to feed more than 15,000 animals in our care," Vice President and Managing Director of Audubon Zoo, Steve Marshall, said in a statement. "Caring for our animals is a top priority for Audubon. Your support will provide nutritious diets and premium veterinary care to our animals like Tumani to ensure they are as healthy and happy as possible.”
While cozy fleece blankets and jumbo blocks may seem normal for a baby registry, a hanging feeder bag and 15 gallon barrel remind buyers this is for no ordinary momma.
Tumani’s pregnancy was first announced in July after she successfully bred with Okpara, a 27-year-old silverback gorilla, as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan. Tumani came to the zoo from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado in 2017 while Okpara moved to the zoo from Franklin Park Zoo in Massachusetts that same year. The baby is due in the late summer.
“There are many risks involved with gorilla births, especially in a troop unfamiliar with an infant, but we are working with the entire troop to ensure they are ready for the new addition,” Audubon Zoo’s Senior Veterinarian, Dr. Robert MacLean, said when the baby was announced.
Those who are in Louisiana can visit the animals at the Audubon Zoo as it reopened on June 3 after being closed for nearly three months. Ticket reservations are required in advance to visit and daily attendance is capped.
If you can’t get to New Orleans but still need an animal fix (and who doesn’t?), you can check out these adorable animal livestreams at zoos all around the country.
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