Cincinnati, OH – Humans are being transformed into gorilla moms to help a shunned baby survive. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, a baby gorilla from a Texas zoo was getting a second lease on life courtesy of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.
The Ohio zoo will use humans surrogate gorilla moms to aid the 4-week-old baby’s transition into her new habitat. The stand-in gorilla mommies will hold the baby to their chests and ultimately carry her on their backs to mimic standard gorilla behavior, Fox 19 News notes.
The human gorilla moms are all-in for the endeavor and will even wear a furry vest and black scrubs when caring for the baby gorilla. The furry vest was handmade by a Cincinnati Zoo volunteer to help foster a natural transition.The gorilla baby momma surrogates will also vocalize animal sounds when taking care of the baby gorilla.
Primate Team Leader Rons Evans and Nursery Head Keeper Dawn Strasser traveled with the baby gorilla from the Texas Zoo to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. Strasser had this to say about the journey:
“The baby was great. She never left my arms.”
The Cincinnati Zoo is the second oldest such animal facility in America. The zoo is renowned for its conservation and procreation efforts. This is the first time the Ohio zoo has used humans as surrogate gorilla moms.
The yet unnamed baby gorilla was born late last month at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville. The baby gorilla was just 4.7 pounds when born but has gained almost three pounds already. After she was born, Kiazi rejected her newborn. Such behavior is not uncommon with first-time mothers.
The other female gorillas at the Gladys Porter Zoo already had babies, so an in-zoo adoption was not possible. Texas zookeepers cared for the baby themselves until they had plans situated with the Cincinnati Zoo to transfer the baby gorilla. The little gorilla is currently being cared for in a private “baby suite” inside the Gorilla World habitat. A mattress is being moved into the baby gorilla’s room so the human gorilla moms have a place to sit during long shifts and during overnight care-giving.
[Featured Image Via: Shutterstock.com]
[Secondary Images Via: Cincinnati Zoo and Fox 19]