( Cincinnati ) A 4–week-old, female, baby gorilla born at a zoo in Brownsville, Texas, arrived late Friday afternoon and is doing well. Cincinnati Zoo Primate Team Leader, Ron Evans and Nursery Head Keeper, Dawn Strasser accompanied the baby on the private flight. “The baby was great,” said Strasser. “She never left my arms.”
Initially, the baby will spend time behind the scenes in the Zoo’s Children’s Zoo Nursery for the next few days to make sure the baby is healthy and doesn’t bring any contagious illnesses into the Gorilla World exhibit, exposing both the current gorillas and the staff. Once the vets give the infant a clean bill of health, she will move to her more permanent home at the Cincinnati Zoo.
The baby, who is still un-named, was born on January 29 to parents 14-year old, “Kiazi” and a 28-year-old silverback male named “Moja”. Kiazi joined the Gladys Porter Zoo’s gorilla troop in October 2011 as part of an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) breeding recommendation. She is on breeding loan transfer from the Cincinnati Zoo. The baby was being hand-reared by GPZ zookeepers because the new mom displayed a lack of maternal care. All parties agreed that relocation was the best course of action for the baby and because the Cincinnati Zoo has two female gorillas available to serve as potential surrogate mothers, it was decided that the baby should go there. Her introduction process to a new gorilla troop will be gradual to ensure a favorable integration.