Positive Steps for Nayembi
Baby gorilla Nayembi continues to meet welcome milestones in recovering from last month’s injury. The latest saw her return to Regenstein Center for African Apes, where she’s healing behind the scenes within full view of her family group.
Overall, the progress of the last couple weeks has been amazing. As you can see, Nayembi’s face has regained much of its normal color. The good news isn’t limited to appearances either, as she continues to show a hearty appetite for food—and play!
Given her recovery, our expert veterinarians decided to move Nayembi back to Regenstein Center for African Apes on March 13. She’s living in her normal behind-the-scenes space, next to her family group, where animal care staff continue to provide around-the-clock care.
As you can imagine, it takes a lot of energy to care for a baby gorilla. Our animal care staff are trying to be more gorilla than human, mimicking the behaviors and routines of Nayembi’s troop. They rest, play, grunt, explore and eat on the gorillas’ established schedules.
One major benefit of the move to Regenstein Center for African Apes is that it’s made possible visual contact between Nayembi, her mother, Rollie, and the rest of the gorilla troop led by silverback Kwan. Caregivers report that Rollie shows a lot of interest in the baby and is keen to watch the little one move and play.
While Rollie and Nayembi are spending time just a couple of feet apart, we’re still holding off on physical contact between the two. Like any mother, Rollie will want to groom and inspect the baby, which could mean potentially touching her face in areas that are still in the healing process. Right now our focus remains on the baby’s daily checkups and around-the-clock care.
These are positive steps, though, ones we’re very happy to witness. I’ll be sure to keep you informed as Nayembi continues her recovery.
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