, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 965-976

The birth of a wild mountain gorilla (Gorilla gorilla beringei)

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The live birth of a wild mountain gorilla is described. Details of the birth process are given along with the mother’s periparturitional behaviour and the responses of others to the birth. The mother, a multiparous female, gave no observable indication that birth was imminent, and delivered her infant quickly and easily. During parturition, a subadult male showed interest in the proceedings. Following delivery, several animals approached the mother, who then left the birth site. The mother cleaned her infant and by two hours postpartum had established ventro-ventral contact and, possibly, nursing. These data are related to relevant observations from the literature and unpublished data on other animals from this study.