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Western lowland gorilla born at Fort Worth Zoo

<i>Courtesy The Fort Worth Zoo</i><br/>The unnamed baby was born early on Nov. 6 to parents Gracie and Elmo.
Courtesy The Fort Worth Zoo
The unnamed baby was born early on Nov. 6 to parents Gracie and Elmo.

By Zoe Sottile, CNN

A bouncing baby gorilla has been born at the Fort Worth Zoo in Texas.

The unnamed infant is just the second-ever western lowland gorilla born at the facility, according to a Facebook post.

The baby was born early on November 6 to parents Gracie and Elmo, the zoo says.

He likely weighs between 4 and 5 pounds, which is normal for newborn gorillas. But by the time he’s an adult, he might weigh as much as 500 pounds, according to the Smithsonian Zoo’s size estimates for western lowland gorillas.

Gorillas fall into two species: western and eastern gorillas, each of which has two subspecies. The western lowland gorilla is the most widespread and numerous of the four subspecies, according to the World Wildlife Fund, although the exact size of the population is unknown. The large apes live in the dense rainforests of Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and the Republic of Congo.

But even though the western lowland gorilla is the most numerous gorilla subspecies, it has still faced serious population decline over the last decades due to poaching and disease, says the World Wildlife Fund. The species is categorized as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

So far, the newborn gorilla is “staying close to his mother” while meeting other members of the Fort Worth Zoo’s gorilla troop, according to the Facebook post.

“The pair continues to bond but are also fully integrated into the troop, mimicking family dynamics in the wild,” the zoo said.

Visitors can catch a glimpse of the mother and baby at the zoo’s World of Primates exhibit. The facility has six gorillas, not counting the newborn, according to its website.

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