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Pittsburgh zoo's gorilla believed to be pregnant

Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Moka, western lowland gorilla at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium holds her newborn son in the gorilla enclosure at the Zoo, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012. The newborn died four months later, but zoo officials announced Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, that Moka is probably pregnant again.

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By Bill Zlatos
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, 10:45 a.m.
 

Moka, a Western lowland gorilla at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, is probably pregnant, zoo officials announced Wednesday.

The gorilla had a pregnancy test recently that was positive, but zoo officials remain unsure that she is expecting because the only test they had is designed for humans. They will monitor her behavior and weight gain for additional indications. She gave birth to a baby boy last year, but he died at 4 months of age.

Gorilla gestation lasts about eight months. A baby gorilla weighs between four and five pounds at birth. The mortality rate for infant gorillas during the first several months is 40 percent. Western lowland gorillas are a highly endangered species because of loss of habitat, poaching and disease.

Moka mated with Mrithi, another gorilla at the zoo, officials said.

Bill Zlatos is a reporter for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7828 or bzlatos@tribweb.com.

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