Gorilla at Prague Zoo gives birth, to everyone's surprise

Shinda, a western lowland gorilla, holds her newborn baby in its enclosure at Prague Zoo, Czech Republic, on April 24, 2016.
Shinda, a western lowland gorilla, holds her newborn baby in its enclosure at Prague Zoo, Czech Republic, on April 24, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

A gorilla from the Prague Zoo in the Czech Republic gave birth on April 23, against all odds.

Before she gave birth, Shinda, who has had multiple miscarriages, was expected to stay childless.

Shinda at 24 years old is middle-aged in gorilla years, as gorillas in captivity can live up to 50 years old, according to the National Zoological Park, a zoo in Washington DC in the United States.

Mr Miroslav Bobek, director of the Prague Zoo, said of Shinda's unexpected motherhood: "I can't even imagine what could surprise me more. Not only did we not know about Shinda's pregnancy, but, to begin with, over time we've lost hope she could have a baby anymore."

Shinda was overweight, so the zookeepers did not notice her swollen stomach. They thought it was a result of her large appetite.

The baby gorilla will stay with its father,Richard, in the gorilla pavilion.

The baby's gender and name are not known.

After the birth, Shinda immediately began to care for her newborn.

According to the Epoch Times, an independent news media company based in New York, zoo curator Vit Lukas said: "She cleaned it and herself and, though it's her first offspring, she behaved as an experienced mother."