Home News “Male” Gorilla Gives Birth at Columbus Zoo in Unexpected Twist

“Male” Gorilla Gives Birth at Columbus Zoo in Unexpected Twist


COLUMBUS – A Gorilla named Sully recently gave birth to a healthy baby gorilla but that birth was unexpected as the zoo thought that Sully was a male gorilla.

“We have an adorable surprise to share with all of you today! Our gorilla family just got a little bigger with the unexpected birth of a female baby gorilla,” said the zoo.

Where things got mixed up, “here’s the other incredible part: our dedicated keepers recently discovered that the proud mom, who was initially believed to be a male, is actually a female gorilla. Talk about a surprise twist!”

Sully has been in the care of the Columbus Zoo since 2019, the question remains though how the zoo didn’t know the sex of a creature they had in their care for years. That answer was asked on the zoo’s Facebook and answered.

“Sully received a cardiac exam at the Columbus Zoo when she arrived. Great apes can be prone to have heart complications, and the Columbus Zoo team wanted to get a baseline on her heart health. Sully was in overall good health and there was no reason for the Columbus Zoo team to conduct further medical examinations. Sully was initially identified as male prior to her arrival at the Columbus Zoo (she arrived when she was 4 years old).  At this age, it’s hard to tell the sex of younger gorillas. Until about the age of 8, males and females are about the same size, and they don’t have prominent sex organs. For the safety of the animals, professional zoos employ anesthesia only when absolutely necessary for medical reasons,” said the zoo.

Also, the zoo commented that during Sully’s pregnancy Gorillas unlike humans rarely show outward signs of pregnancy because newborns are smaller than human babies and Gorillas have naturally large abdomens.

Lowland Gorillas are critically endangered as habitat loss, deforestation, and hunting has reduced their numbers to around 100,000.