JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- An infant gorilla born Thursday evening at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has passed away.
The cause of death is unknown at this time. Zoo veterinarians will complete a thorough necropsy to try to identify the cause.
"Staff is in mourning," said Dan Maloney, Deputy Director of Conservation and Education. "We are thankful that Madini is doing well, but the zoo was so excited about the prospect of a gorilla baby, that we are profoundly disappointed, and can only look to the future with hope."
The infant was born to first-time mother, Madini, and first-time father, Lash, according to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens press release.
"The loss of an infant can be a traumatic experience for gorilla mothers," said Tracy Fenn, supervisor of mammals at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. "Madini's gorilla companions and human keepers will support her through the mourning process."
Keepers said Madini did everything she was supposed to do after the birth, which is hopeful sign she will be able to continue breeding when she is ready. Gorilla infant mortality is not uncommon, and first-time mothers have a 50 percent higher rate than second-time mothers, the release said.