This story is a staff report from The Paper.

Samantha the gorilla gives birth at the ABQ BioPark Zoo. Credit: City of Albuquerque

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The ABQ BioPark Zoo staff announced Thursday that Samantha the gorilla gave birth to a new baby ape. Staff say mom and baby are doing well and have started nursing.

ABQ BioPark caregivers were present at the birth but watched remotely via camera in order to avoid disturbing the natural process. At 15-years-old, Samantha is a first-time mom, so staff were ready to intervene for the health and safety of both. Staff say Samantha did great and needed no help.

Mom and baby will have access to their outside yard starting Friday. Zoo guests should be prepared for the Ape Walk to be intermittently closed to allow for privacy and a quiet environment while mom and baby have a chance to bond.

The father is 20-year-old Kojo, who came to the BioPark in early 2021. This is the first time the BioPark has welcome a baby gorilla since 2004. Staff say they do not yet know the sex of the baby.