Zookeepers Dress As Gorillas to Care for Baby Gorilla Who Was Rejected by Mother

Melissa Knowles
Trending Now

Here at "Trending Now," we always love to share heartwarming stories with our audience, especially the ones that have to do with adorable baby animals. Today's story is just that, and it is all about a baby gorilla.

The Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas, welcomed a baby girl gorilla four weeks ago. Unfortunately, shortly after her birth, her mother rejected her. She was transported to Ohio's Cincinnati Zoo, where the zookeepers stepped in to care for her, and they went above and beyond.

The zookeepers acted as foster parents to the baby gorilla, even donning gorilla costumes and making noises as a gorilla would, to get the baby accustomed to hearing gorilla sounds. Mike Dulaney, the curator of mammals for the zoo, talked about the zookeepers' purpose in taking on gorilla form around the other more mature, real gorillas: "That way, the baby will see, hear, and smell the other gorillas. They will be able to see the baby." The zookeepers will also feed her from a bottle, and they plan on teaching her to climb.

Primate-team leader Ron Evans even takes the time to demonstrate exactly what the gorilla noises will sound like when he communicates with the baby. Because gorillas make about 13 different vocalizations, Evans said, "they have to, once again, learn all of these vocalizations from the day they're born, just like humans have to learn their language."

It will take several months for the zookeepers to get the baby gorilla and the other primates adjusted and ready. The zookeepers hope that an older female gorilla named Samantha, who just so happens to be the baby's great-grandmother and has raised several babies of her own at the zoo, will act as a surrogate to this new gorilla.

[Related: Dressing up to save the pandas]

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