Riverbanks Prepares to Grow by Two Feet
Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is excited to announce the pregnancy of one of the Zoo's female western lowland gorillas. The expectant mother is due in late May.
The pregnancy is the first for 10-year-old Macy. Now in her second trimester, Macy is believed to be 13 to 14 weeks along. The gestation period for gorillas is about 36 weeks.
"Macy is in good health, and her pregnancy appears to be progressing well," said John Davis, curator of mammals at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. "First-time gorilla mothers are, however, more likely to experience challenges related to birth and child-rearing, so we are cautiously optimistic moving forward."
Barring any complications, this also will be the first gorilla born and raised at Riverbanks. Dad, Cenzoo, has one other offspring. The 20-year-old silverback fathered a son in 2005 while living at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay.
Riverbanks welcomed Cenzoo, Macy and two other female western lowland gorillas in the spring of 2015 as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP). For nearly 36 years, SSP's have helped ensure the continued existence of endangered animals through breeding and transfer plans among AZA-accredited institutions.
For more than 40 years, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden has connected individuals, families, and groups with the world's wildlife and wild places. Riverbanks is a special purpose district governed by the Riverbanks Park Commission, which consists of seven members, two appointed by Richland County Council, two by Lexington County Council, two by the City of Columbia, and one jointly by the three entities. It is the mission of Riverbanks Zoo and Garden to foster appreciation and concern for all living things. Riverbanks Zoo is located at 500 Wildlife Parkway, Columbia, SC 29210. The Botanical Garden entrance is located at 1300 Botanical Parkway, West Columbia, SC 29169. The park is open daily from 9am to 5pm, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas day. Admission is $15.95 for adults, $13.50 for children ages 2 – 12 and free for children younger than 2. Group rates and other discounts may apply. Year-round membership packages are also available. For more information, call Riverbanks at 803.779.8717, visit www.riverbanks.org or www.facebook.com/riverbankszoo.
- Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens
- 500 Wildlife Parkway
- 500 Wildlife Parkway, Columbia, SC 29210