Zoo personnel learned of the pregnancy the same way that many Americans do: with a drugstore pregnancy test kit. "They have the same markers in their urine that humans have," said Dr. Hayley Murphy, director of veterinary services. "We are big consumers of Clearblue Easy test strips."
The keepers have been working with Lulu to train her to participate in ultrasound sessions so that they can monitor the progression of the pregnancy, but "she's not quite there yet," said Murphy. "If she wants to participate, she can."
Gorilla infants gestate for about the same length of time as human babies, but are born with less difficulty, said Murphy. Most gorilla newborns weigh 2 to 3 pounds and are born after about an hour of labor.
Lulu, who weighs about 167, may gain only 10 pounds during her pregnancy, Murphy added.