Next Gorilla birth in Busch Gardens


Busch Gardens today announced that a 12-year-old eastern plain gorilla named Pele is pregnant and will give birth later this year. With a gestation period of 8 months and a half, Pele is expected to give birth in November 2014.

This pregnancy is part of Busch Gardens’ participation in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the Species Survival Plan (SSP). The SSP’s mission is to cooperate to preserve threatened or endangered species within facilities accredited by AZA. Currently the Eastern Plain Gorillas are in danger of extinction.

Pele arrived in Busch Gardens in February 2010 at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas. He quickly joined the park’s gorilla pack, and Bolingo, one of Busch Gardens’s male gorillas, became his companion. Bolingo was born in November 2005 in Busch Gardens, becoming the first successful gorilla birth in the park’s history.

Both Pele and Bolingo, along with other Busch Gardens gorillas, can be seen at the Myombe Reserve in the park. Pele will continue to be seen by the guests until giving birth.

Since 2004 Busch Gardens has supported the Mbeli Bai study of eastern lowland gorillas in the remote region of the Nouabale-Ndoki National Park in the Congo jungle in Africa. The project is supported through the Conservation Fund of SeaWorld and Busch Gardens and is coordinated by the Wildlife Conservation Society. The focus of the study on the rarity of ecology and the social behavior of the eastern lowland gorillas has allowed the collection of innovative and fascinating data on this species in danger of extinction.