Mother's Pride: Nimba the Gorilla Cradles Her Newborn Baby (PHOTOS)

Mother's Pride: Nimba the Gorilla Cradles Her Newborn Baby (PHOTOS)

Keepers at a Dutch zoo have been caught off-guard by the early arrival of a baby gorilla. Mother Nimba had not been expected to give birth until the end of May, but surprised staff at Burgers Zoo in Arnhem by going into labour early.

Mother's Pride: Nimba the Gorilla Cradles Her Newborn Baby (PHOTOS)

Despite its early arrival, keepers say the newborn, the sex of which is not yet known, appears to be well and is being expertly cared for by its doting mother.

Mother's Pride: Nimba the Gorilla Cradles Her Newborn Baby (PHOTOS)

They are now hoping that she will act as a good role model to the three other gorillas at the zoo who are also currently pregnant. All of the babies have been fathered by one silverback, Bauwi.

Mother's Pride: Nimba the Gorilla Cradles Her Newborn Baby (PHOTOS)

Gorillas mate year round, with the gestation period for young around 8.5 months. Baby gorillas are vulnerable and very dependent upon their mothers. Male gorillas play a role in socializing their offspring with other young gorillas.

Mother's Pride: Nimba the Gorilla Cradles Her Newborn Baby (PHOTOS)

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