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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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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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