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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cincinnati Zoo Workers Play Mom To Baby Gorilla

The baby gorilla, at left, is learning to hold onto the keepers in a vetro-ventral position as a mother gorilla would hold her most of the time, at this age, as opposed to swaddling her like a human baby. At right is a photo of the Cincinnati Zoo’s gorilla mom, Muke, holding her newborn Bakari in 2006, in a similar position. (Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden)

The baby gorilla, at left, is learning to hold onto the keepers in a vetro-ventral position as a mother gorilla would hold her most of the time, at this age, as opposed to swaddling her like a human baby. At right is a photo of the Cincinnati Zoo’s gorilla mom, Muke, holding her newborn Bakari in 2006, in a similar position. (Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden)

Workers at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden are suiting up in fur vests and grunting in eight-hour shifts around the clock, as they try to nurture and socialize a 5-week-old baby gorilla rejected by her mother.

The zoo has developed a specialized enclosure which allows the mature gorillas next door to hear and smell the new baby girl (named Gladys Stones), which they hope will ease her eventual transition into the zoo’s gorilla community.

That won’t happen for another four or five months.

Primate Center team leader Ron Evans on baby gorilla surrogate moms:

The baby gorilla arrives at the Cincinnati Zoo:

Guest:

  • Ron Evans, Primate Center team leader at Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, and one of Gladys’ temporary human surrogate moms.

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  • michaelmoon611

    I was offended by the way Robin referred to returning this primate to her “people” or “tribe.” Clearly an implied racist connotation to native Africans. Disgusting.

    • Karynmiller

      Hello — as the producer of this segment I’m sorry that you were offended by Robin’s comments. Her use of those terms was meant as a humorous way of referring to the gorilla’s cohort. After using the word “people” Robin jokingly conceded that this baby animal — who seems almost human — is not a person, and used the word “tribe” instead…as in “tribe of gorillas”. There was no thought or intent to refer to Africans whatsoever, particularly since this gorilla was born and bred in captivity. Her “people” are the gorillas on the other side of the enclosure in Cincinnati. Nowhere else, and no one else.
      Thanks for your comments.
      Karyn Miller-Medzon

  • Kimshafer2k

    I love the story and the pictures as well as the comment returning her to her people…the gorillas are her people..it has nothing to do with the native africans…good grief

  • Fredsaid

    ” Her people” and “tribe” are just a clumsy ways of saying her species.

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