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Baby gorilla makes debut at Philadelphia Zoo

The Philadelphia Zoo's gorilla exhibit just got a little bigger and a whole lot cuter.

Honi, one of the zoo's western lowland gorillas, gave birth Friday. And now, after mom and baby have had a few days of rest, visitors can see the newborn in the zoo's Peco Primate Reserve.

The baby is 21-year-old Honi's second birth and the first for Honi and father Motuba, 31, together, the zoo said. Both mother and baby appear healthy.

The newborn's gender isn't known yet because Honi has been carrying the baby too closely for zoo staff to determine its sex.

The newborn made its public debut Wednesday. It's the first baby gorilla born at the zoo in about 20 years.

As Honi's due date drew near, zoo staff baby-proofed the exhibit the protect the new gorilla from any hazards.

"Nets, firehoses and climbing structures with large loops and holes are fun for adult gorillas but must be reinforced and modified for Honi's baby," the zoo wrote in a blog post in mid-August. "Heavy logs and exhibit furniture must also be secured."

The baby is expected to remain at the zoo for a number of years, zoo officials said when Honi's pregnancy was announced this spring. Young gorillas typically stay with their mothers until they are 7 to 10 years old.