Silverback Gorilla Unexpectedly Gives Birth, Zoologists Had Thought She Was Fat and Infertile
Miracles do happen!
Shinda the silverback gorilla surprised zoologists at a zoo in Prague over the weekend by unexpectedly going into labor and giving birth to her first healthy baby.
The new mother can be seen lounging in the exhibit with her newborn resting on her chest. She even piles hay together to make a bed so that the unnamed baby can be more comfortable as it's fed.
Misoslav Bobek, manager and zoologist at the Prague Zoo, said he received a call Saturday morning informing him that Shinda had gone into labor.
"Not only did we not know about Shinda's pregnancy, but mainly, we gave up hope that she could have a baby," Bobek wrote in a blog, as translated from Czech.
Bobek wrote that the zoo believed she was infertile a decade ago. Shina had become pregnant since the diagnosis, but miscarried.
Shinda has also been overweight since being moved to the Prague Zoo, and zoologists thought her swollen belly was a sign she was fat, not pregnant.
Even though the zoo was immediately elated for the 25-year-old gorilla to become a mother, they were nervous that the baby gorilla might be born unhealthy due to stress.
But almost four hours after finding out that Shinda was having a baby, Bobek said he received a message: "Shinda had just given birth. The baby is well, and we saw movement and heard crying."
By late afternoon at the Prague Zoo, Bobek confirmed that the unnamed baby is perfectly healthy.
The silverback male in her tribe has had offspring with other female gorillas, but this new addition to the Czech Republic zoo will be the first for Shinda.
"I do not want to jinx it," Bobek wrote, "but it seems that miracles can happen."
Read: Mother Gorilla Dies At Zoo Shortly After Giving Birth Via Emergency C-Section
Though the gorilla exhibit was closed following the baby's arrival, the zoo announced the exhibit reopened the following day so that the gorilla family can return to its normal routine.