Baby Gorillas Back on Exhibit
It’s been a long time coming, but I’m happy to share that visitors can once again see our two baby gorillas—females Nayembi and Patty—at Regenstein Center for African Apes.
The little ones have largely been behind the scenes in recent months as Nayembi recovered from a February injury. Since April, Nayembi’s mom, Rollie, and mother-and-infant pair Bana and Patty have spent much of their time off exhibit, the first step in visually reacclimating Nayembi to her troopmates. In July these four gorillas were physically reunited out of public view. And just yesterday they were all reintroduced to silverback Kwan in the main family exhibit at Regenstein Center for African Apes.
This is a happy step and a true testament to the commitment of the zoo’s animal care experts. But it’s still a work in progress.
Keepers will be monitoring the group around the clock for the next week to keep a close eye on the transition. If it’s in Nayembi’s best interest, the building may even close periodically to allow her and her family some alone time.
Even now, after the promising start, we’ve installed barriers around the exhibit to give the apes some extra privacy. Female troop members Bahati and Susie will remain separate for the time being, either given the choice to be in the adjacent “howdy” area or outside in their yard. While the ultimate plan is to integrate the full group, the reintroduction process will continue to follow whatever pace is needed to ensure everyone’s well-being.
With due caution in place, this is a very exciting development. Even when Nayembi was separated from the group during her recovery, Kwan was still able to see, smell and hear the baby gorilla every day. He’s shown a sustained interest in the baby, much as he’s shown appropriate parenting behaviors with past offspring. Now they’re together, and Nayembi is being raised in the best circumstances—under the care of her natural family.
Come say hello to the gorilla babies this weekend. I’ll keep you informed as Nayembi and the other gorillas navigate this welcome transition.
Baby gorilla Nayembi has been reintroduced to her mom, Rollie, and mother-and-daughter pair Bana and Patty behind the scenes at Regenstein Center for African Apes. As this video shows, the group, including Nayembi and Rollie, are getting along well!
See Baby Nayembi Crawl Around Her Exhibit
Western lowland gorilla Nayembi, who was injured in February, is thriving under 24-hour care by Lincoln Park Zoo animal care staff and will soon be reunited with her troop. As you can see, the 6-month-old gorilla is trying new foods, exploring her enclosure, and getting lessons in how to act like an ape.
Good News for Nayembi
A Second Gorilla Baby