Positive Steps in a Long Process
Like most gorillas her age, baby Nayembi generally divides her time in two directions: nap time and play time. But the fact that the little gorilla is eager to play at all has Lincoln Park Zoo caregivers very happy.
The reason? Nayembi has spent the last week at the zoo’s C.H. “Doc” Searle, M.D. Animal Hospital after a facial injury at Regenstein Center for African Apes. In the wake of surgery and swelling, the play offers a welcome reminder that she’s taking the first steps toward recovery.
“We’re thrilled with how she’s responding,” says Vice President of Animal Care Megan Ross, Ph.D. “We’re seeing a lot of normal baby behaviors—crawling, exploring, putting toys in her mouth.”
The Animal Hospital will be the likely setting for Nayembi’s play for a while. The little one needs regular check-ups and around-the-clock care as she recovers. That’s easier to provide in the veterinary clinic’s controlled setting.
Over at Regenstein Center for African Apes, though, Nayembi’s mom, Rollie, is still getting some baby time with the other infant, Patty. The 16-year-old female is closely bonded to the troop’s other mom, Bana. “Bana has been seen sharing a nest with Rollie,” says Curator of Primates Maureen Leahy. “She’s even allowing 4-month-old baby Patty to playfully interact with Rollie at times.”
After an intense week, the playful moments offer hope toward progress. Caregivers hope to catalogue many more of them in the weeks ahead.
Published March 1, 2013
Make a Difference
Share the Care
A Second Gorilla Baby
Gorilla Matchmaking and Family Planning