Zoo Babies
12:34 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Meet Kilua: Cincinnati Zoo introduces baby okapi

On a beautiful and busy day at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, the public got its first glimpse of Kilua, a baby okapi born on November 30, 2013 to mother Kuvua and father Kiloro.  Kilua is the Cincinnati Zoo’s 15th okapi birth since 1989 but the first offspring from this couple.

The okapi, because of its stripes, is often mistaken for a relative of the zebra; but the okapi is actually the only known relative of the giraffe.  According to keeper Renee Carpenter, this species is critically endangered in the wild and little is known about it because they are such a reclusive animals.

Four month old Kilua is large for her age.  She was 75 lbs. at birth and is currently about as big as a yearling.  She is expected to be a star attraction at this year's Zoo Babies celebration.

As she develops, the Species Survival Program will evaluate her growth and genetics and determine if she will stay in Cincinnati or be moved to a different facility for breeding.

The Cincinnati Zoo's female giraffe Tessa is also pregnant with her third offspring and is expected to deliver any day.

Wait, there's more

Gladys the gorilla now has a father figure. Jomo, the male, silverback Western-lowland gorilla, was successfully introduced to her family group. Here's a family video:

A news release says:

From the beginning, the Cincinnati Zoo’s main goal has been to get Gladys in a species typical social group, with a silverback, and to have her in a group with expecting mothers, as is the case with Asha (and hopefully, eventually Anju), so all the kids can grow up together.  This phase of introductions has been extremely critical and very important for a young gorilla’s behavioral and social development.