Gorilla Mom's Maternal Instincts on Display

Most new moms can't take their eyes off their newborn baby, and Martha, a Western lowland gorilla, is no exception.

The mother of five gave birth to a male gorilla on Jan. 15 at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas, and has embraced her maternal instincts, cradling and comforting her baby boy non-stop, the zoo said.

Credit: Renee Lockett, Courtesy Gladys Porter Zoo

"She's a good mom," Zoo Facilities Director Jerry Stones said in a statement. "Martha's been nurturing babies since before she had one of her own."

To ensure they'd develop a close bond, Martha and her baby, who still has not been named, were separated from the rest of the gorilla group, including dad Moja, a silverback, for a week, according to the zoo. Tuesday, the duo was welcomed back into their habitat and then the little guy made his public debut.

Credit: Renee Lockett, Courtesy Gladys Porter Zoo

Since the newborn is one of the most endangered species on the planet, Martha is not alone in feeling protective. Conservationists hope the two-week-old Western lowland gorilla will help preserve the future of the species.

Next milestone for the newborn gorilla and his affectionate mom? Taking his first steps, which typically come as early as three months, the zoo said.

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