- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

CINCINNATI (AP) - The Cincinnati Zoo has taken in another baby gorilla after it was shunned by her mother in Oklahoma.

Kamina was flown by private plane this week to Ohio, where the Cincinnati Zoo has successfully raised a gorilla baby brought from a Texas last year after a similar rejection by the mother. Experts aren’t sure why some babies get rejected by their mothers, but say gorilla babies need nurturing care to survive.

“They need to feel that closeness, they need to feel that love like they should from their mother on Day One,” said Ron Evans, primate leader at the Cincinnati Zoo.

Kamina was born Aug. 16 at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Zoo staff held and fed the 4-pound Western Lowland gorilla, but determined they didn’t have an adult female who would be able to adopt and raise the animal.

The Cincinnati Enquirer (https://cin.ci/1xeeFtD ) reports that working with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, officials determined Cincinnati was the best match. Evans and the Cincinnati Zoo’s head nursery keeper, Dawn Strasser, spent some time with Kamina in Oklahoma City before returning with the gorilla in their laps.

Last year, a team of human surrogates wearing hairy vests and mimicking gorilla sounds and gaits got Gladys, brought her from Brownsville, Texas, ready for an adult female’s adoption. They took turns with the animal 24 hours a day, bottle-feeding Gladys for over three months and getting the other gorillas slowly acclimated before deciding which female appeared to be most interested and affectionate.

Gladys has grown and thrived as a member of the zoo’s gorilla “troop.”

“I can’t think of a better experience I’ve had in my career,” said Evans, whose zoo career spans three decades.

He said after Kamina is introduced to other gorillas a little at a time, or what Evans calls “howdy time,” staffers will choose an adoptive mother. He said the zoo has several good candidates, including a childless female named Mara who often appears to baby-sit Gladys.

___

Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, https://www.enquirer.com

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide