Gorilla Baby Update

New Photos, Details Released Today of Recovering Baby Gorilla

(Chicago – March 21, 2013)  Four-month-old gorilla Nayembi at Lincoln Park Zoo continues to meet welcome milestones in recovering from last month’s injury.  The latest saw her released from the veterinary hospital and return to Regenstein Center for African Apes on March 13 where she is healing behind the scenes within full view of her family group.

While the cause of the facial injury which took place on Feb. 20 remains unknown, it required emergency surgery and hospitalization.

According to Animal Care staff, she continues to recover remarkably well and is showing a hearty appetite for both food and play.

Zoo staff continues to provide the young ape around-the-clock care. Caregivers are doing their best to mimic the routines of Nayembi’s troop, which includes resting, grunting, playing, exploring and eating on the gorillas’ established schedules.

Nayembi now has visual contact with her mother, Rollie, and the rest of the gorilla troop led by silverback Kwan. Caregivers report that Rollie shows interest in Nayembi and is keen to watch the little one move and play.

“Nayembi is still healing. Allowing the gorillas to touch or potentially groom the injured area would not be beneficial at this time, so as of yet there has not been any physical contact for Nayembi with the other gorillas,” explained Curator of Primates Maureen Leahy. “What is important is that Nayembi is living in very close visual proximity to her family group, including mother Rollie. Rollie can always keep a watchful eye on Nayembi, vocalize to her, and even solicit play behavior. Nayembi is also quick to fix her eye gaze on mother Rollie.”

The zoo will post periodic updates about Nayembi’s progress on their website www.lpzoo.org and Facebook page www.facebook.com/lincolnparkzoo.



Media Contacts

Sharon Dewar
(312) 742-2246


  Tiffany Ruddle
(312) 742-5791



Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo, a historic landmark founded in 1868, is dedicated to connecting people with nature by providing a free, family-oriented wildlife experience. A leader in conservation science both globally and locally, the zoo exemplifies the highest quality animal care and educational outreach. The not-for-profit zoo, managed by The Lincoln Park Zoological Society, is a member-supported organization and one of the nation’s only free, privately managed zoos. For more information, call 312 -742-2000 or visit www.lpzoo.org.


Photos credited to Megan Ross / Lincoln Park Zoo