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Baby gorilla thrives, introduction sessions between mom and baby continue

Posted by Gigi Allianic, Communications

Baby girl, cozy and in the care of her attentive keepers.

As you may have heard, a female baby gorilla was born on Friday, November 20, to first time mom, Nadiri. First, let us thank you all for your congratulatory notes and kind words for keepers and staff. We appreciate your enthusiasm and support for this special new girl who has stolen our hearts.

The baby is thriving. Under special care of keepers and veterinary staff, the western lowland gorilla is receiving round-the-clock care and is currently off public view. She is being bottle-fed human infant formula.

Just so sleepy after her birth journey.

Although Nadiri gave birth naturally, without intervention by staff, she did not show appropriate maternal behaviors. After giving birth, she walked away to the other side of the den and staff had to step in for the safety and welfare of the baby and to let the new mom rest. Because Nadiri was partially hand-raised and does not have experience with motherhood, zoo staff prepared for different eventualities.

Attempts over the weekend to introduce Nadiri to her baby have not been successful. According to Martin Ramirez, the zoo’s mammal curator, Nadiri’s interactions are positive but minimal. “She keeps her baby within line of sight and we hear content grunting, but she has not shown any interest beyond this and has not made a move to pick up her baby. While this is not the outcome we hoped for, we remain optimistic that her maternal behaviors will kick in,” said Ramirez. “The best thing for a baby gorilla, or any animal, is to have its mom take care of it."

Staff is caring for the baby in a bedroom next to Nadiri’s den where the mom and other two gorillas in her group can see the little one.

Wrapped snug in a fleece blanket, this little one is getting lots of love from keepers and vet staff who are caring for her in a room next to mom, Nadiri. Mom and baby can see each other as keepers provide human infant formula.

“The good news is that the baby is flourishing. We’re very pleased with the baby’s first 72 hours, a critical period for newborn gorillas. She’s feeding sufficiently and maintaining her body temperature,” explained Ramirez. “Our focus over the next several days is to ensure this baby remains healthy and to keep moving forward with attempts to unite Nadiri with her baby. We just need to be patient.”

We would like to thank our dedicated keepers and veterinary team who have stepped in to ensure this precious baby girl gets the utmost care and the best chance at reuniting with her mom. Updates on Nadiri and the baby will be posted here just as soon as we have more news to share.

Thank you for your patience and your warm thoughts; we are grateful to have such an amazing zoo family.

There is nothing sweeter than this little girl.


Anonymous said…
You guys are doing a terrific job,... but it's sad that mommy isn't that interested. Every baby needs its mom. :(
Anonymous said…
Great Job Guys!!! Love the Pics :)
wanda1961 said…
Poor sweet baby girl!! Praying mama has a change of heart real soon!
Unknown said…
Beautiful work! My daughter Gidget wants to name her GIDGET!
Julie Jay said…
Thank you for your excellent work with the baby and Nadiri.
Unknown said…
Poor little girl wants a NAME!!! Too precious!
Anonymous said…
will you let us know when we can see her on the baby cam. like the baby boy lions were introduced? Then it will be our next visit.
Mike said…
Iinteresting! I hope that everyone have a happy Thanksgiving and good luck with the baby!

Unknown said…
She looks both young and old. Hoping her mother gets inspired to nurture her by observing your ministrations.
Baby Swing said…
The baby is thriving. Under special care of keepers and veterinary staff, the western lowland gorilla is receiving round-the-clock care and is currently off public.
Anonymous said…
I'm worried about Natiri, the Mom. Is She engorged with Milk in Her Breasts? That can be very painful and even lead to worse things if not taken care of. I am glad the sweet baby is being taken care of so well...I just worry about its' Mama right now also.
Thanks for your concern. Nadiri is in good health and not having any ill effect after the labor and birth. She hasn't begun nursing and we are currently focused on getting her to pick up and simply hold her baby as a first step.
She looks both young and old.