A baby gorilla born at the Gladys Porter Zoo last month was shunned by her mother. The baby lowland gorilla remains unnamed. Later this week the newborn will leave the South Texas zoo and find a new home at the Cincinnati Zoo.
Zoo officials hope that the baby lowland gorilla will bond with two adult females at the Ohio zoo. The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden is one of the oldest zoos in the country and is renowned for its conservation research.
The baby girl gorilla was born on January 29, according to the Gladys Porter Zoo website. The momma gorilla moved to the Gladys Porter Zoo in 2011, the Washington Post notes. The transfer of the female was done as part of the survival breeding program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Although the mother gorilla that shunned her baby was sent to Texas from the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, she was on loan through the breeding plan from the Cincinnati Zoo.
The baby’s parents are Kiazi and a silverback male named Moja. Due to Kiazi’s lack of maternal instincts, Texas zookeepers are handfeeding the infant. The two female gorillas at the Cincinnati Zoo reportedly have proven motherhood skills. The baby gorilla will be introduced to the troop at the Ohio zoo slowly to foster a more welcoming response from her new family.
The Cincinnati Zoo supports the Mbeli Bai study located at the National Park in the Republic of Congo. Information learned from researching the habits of lowland gorillas are used to chart the best course for conservation.
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