Zoo ‘heartbroken’ over loss of infant gorilla

COLUMBIA, S.C. (PRESS RELEASE) – Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is mourning the loss of the Zoo’s first infant gorilla.

“Our staff is absolutely heartbroken,” said John Davis, curator of mammals at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. “Macy was a wonderful mother throughout her pregnancy and did everything exactly as she should. Everything was progressing as expected; however, with any pregnancy there can be unforeseen complications.”

The infant was born in the breech position Thursday morning. This was the first pregnancy for 10-year-old Macy, one of the Zoo’s three female western lowland gorillas.

Gorilla Base Camp has been closed to give Macy the time she needs with her infant.
“We are not going to intervene in the process,” said Davis. “Macy appears to be doing well right now. We will continue to monitor her behavior to determine our next steps and when we re-open Base Camp viewing.”

According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) there is an 80% survival rate of infants born to first-time gorilla mothers.

Davis adds that this is a tough time for the Riverbanks family and the community but the Zoo is hopeful for another gorilla pregnancy in the future.

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