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Posted: May 10, 2011

New Grand-Gorilla For Willie B.

By Veronica Waters

Atlanta, GA None —

Zoo Atlanta has a new member of the family.

Early this morning, lowland gorilla Kudzoo gave birth.  Kudzoo is the daughter of famed western lowland gorilla Willie B.  The baby gorilla is Willie B.'s third grandchild.

“We’re very excited about the birth of Kudzoo’s infant, particularly given Atlanta’s long connection to Willie B.’s family,” said Zoo Atlanta's deputy director Dwight Lawson in a statement. “Kudzoo has already proven to be an excellent mother, and she appears to be demonstrating those same maternal skills in the care of her newest arrival.”

Kudzoo, now 17, suffered a miscarriage last year after becoming pregnant in 2009.   This infant is the second for her and 21-year-old male Taz.  Willie B.’s second grandchild, Gunther, was born to Sukari in August 2006.

Willie B., who died in 2000, was named for former Atlanta Mayor William B. Hartsfield.  The gorilla inspired the city to modernize the zoo and free him from a dark, cramped habitat.  Now, Zoo Atlanta is home to the nation’s largest collection of gorillas--24--and is  recognized for its care and research of these critically-endangered great apes.

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