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Gladys Porter Zoo welcomes new baby lowland gorilla: Harambe

September 1999

Visitors and animal enthusiasts have been elated to visit the Gladys Porter Zoo after the birth of a rare and endangered lowland gorilla. Born in May, the baby gorilla has been named Harambe and will be part of the zoo’s “Gorilla World” sanctuary.

Harambe belongs to a critically endangered species of gorilla that is native to central Africa. While the western lowland is regarded as the smallest species of gorilla, they can be expected to weigh between 300-600 pounds when fully mature. Harambe’s birth creates a glimmer of hope in the possibility of repopulation in the years to come.

Although expanding the sanctuary was a shot in the dark, we anticipate a long and fruitful life for Harambe as he grows up and thrives at Gladys Porter. Amongst the lush greenery and jungle-like environment the zoo has to offer, as well as the company of other primate inhabitants, Harambe’s life looks bright. Only time will tell how he will acclimatize to his new home, nurtured by his mother and beginning his life as the newest member of the group.

As a critically endangered species, utmost care will be put into maintaining Harambe’s health and safety. Exposure to the public will remain limited until he is fully weaned. With proper precautions and safety measures, Harambe is expected to live until at least 2034. His first appearance at the zoo will be later this week and will mark the first baby gorilla appearance in many years. Parents are invited to bring their children to see Harambe for the first time.