Healing Underway

Zoological Manager of Primates Michael Brown-Palsgrove and Lester E. Fisher Director of Veterinary Medicine Kathryn Gamble, D.V.M., care for Nayembi behind the scenes at the zoo's C.H. "Doc" Searle, M.D. Animal Hospital.

Zoological Manager of Primates Michael Brown-Palsgrove and Lester E. Fisher Director of Veterinary Medicine Kathryn Gamble, D.V.M., care for Nayembi behind the scenes at the zoo's C.H. "Doc" Searle, M.D. Animal Hospital.

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.

Nayembi's injury is just starting to heal, but the little gorilla's playful attitude has boosted her dedicated caregivers.

Nayembi's injury is just starting to heal, but the little gorilla's playful attitude has boosted her dedicated caregivers.

“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

Zoological Manager Michael Brown-Palsgrove is part of the around-the-clock care for baby gorilla Nayembi.

Share the Care
Although Nayembi is receiving expert care around the clock, we’ve had lots of people ask how they can help. In response, we've added a few items to our ongoing Wish List program to support Nayembi as she recovers.


Learn More

Two gorilla moms at Regenstein Center for African Apes. Bana and Patty are in the foreground while Rollie and the new baby are in the background.

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Bana holds her baby, Patty, who was born October 11.

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