Riverbanks Zoo mourning loss of infant gorilla

Macy (Provided by Riverbanks Zoo)

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is mourning the loss of the zoo's first infant gorilla.

In a press release issued Thursday afternoon, curator John Davis said staff members are "absolutely heartbroken."

"Macy was a wonderful mother throughout her pregnancy and did everything exactly as she should," Davis said. "Everything was progressing as expected; however, with any pregnancy there can be unforeseen complications."

The zoo reports Macy's infant was born in the breech position Thursday morning. It was the first pregnancy for 11-year-old Macy, one of three female western lowland gorillas at Riverbanks.

As a result of the incident, Gorilla Base Camp was closed to give Macy the time she needs with the infant.

"We are not going to intervene in the process," Davis said. "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 percent 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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