First look: Lincoln Zoo`s baby gorilla thrives after face injury - New York News

First look: Lincoln Zoo`s baby gorilla thrives after face injury

Posted: Updated:
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Some say the bond between a mother and child is unbreakable. Caretakers at Lincoln Park Zoo are hopeful that will be the case for Nayembi and her mother, Rollie.

For the first time, we're getting a first look at how well baby Nayembi is doing since she sustained a severe facial injury in February.

"It's a very unusual injury," Dr. Steve Ross, the Director of Center for Conservation of Apes explains. "We still don't know exactly what happened. But, luckily we have an excellent veterinary staff that was able to handle it and her recovery has really been remarkable."

After undergoing surgery, now nearly 6-month-old Nayembi is crawling around her exhibit. She's even experimenting with solid foods like broccoli.

To get her to this point, it's taken some creative thinking by the caretakers here.

"The humans are actually wearing a sort of mock, fur vest that mimics the hair that she would be clinging on her own gorilla mother," says Lincoln Park Zoo's Curator of Primates Maureen Leahy. "We're also behaving like gorillas, so we're not coddling her with cute human words of ‘ooh' and ‘ahh,' but we're actually vocalizing more like her gorilla mom would vocalize to her."

Despite how adorable Nayembi is, doctors here say she still needs to be treated like the wild and endangered animal she is.

The goal now is getting all of the gorillas acclimated to having her inside the exhibit.

"She's always in visual proximity of most importantly her mother, but all the other members of the troop," Leahy explains. "She can hear them, see them, smell them and we've even begun some touching contact."

Leahy says its kind and gentle touching between a mother and daughter trying their best to remember the bond that is considered unbreakable.

"When Nayembi is eating, mom will pick up food and eat as well," she says. "So, there's definitely a connection there."

Nayembi's caretakers say she still has a number of goals to reach before she is placed back with the other gorillas. The hope is to have her back with her family in the next month.

Follow Us!

Share Your Photos & Video

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Special Olympics: Athlete Jessica Spitz

    Special Olympics: Athlete Jessica Spitz

    Friday, April 18 2014 6:35 PM EDT2014-04-18 22:35:09 GMT
    Jessica Spitz, 18, is training for one of the biggest days of her life. The Commack, Long Island, High School senior will be competing in the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games in the 100-yard dash and the shot put. From the moment Jessica joined Special Olympics last year, she was hooked.
    Jessica Spitz, 18, is training for one of the biggest days of her life. The Commack, Long Island, High School senior will be competing in the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games in the 100-yard dash and the shot put. From the moment Jessica joined Special Olympics last year, she was hooked.
  • Faithful flock to Bronx church for its grotto water

    Faithful flock to Bronx church for its grotto water

    Friday, April 18 2014 5:43 PM EDT2014-04-18 21:43:31 GMT
    While a thousand people streamed into a courtyard at St. Lucy Parish in the Bronx to watch a reenactment of the crucifixion of Christ, next door a steady trickle of believers quietly collected water from that church's grotto, taking the liquid home to heal, cure, and bless.
    While a thousand people streamed into a courtyard at St. Lucy Parish in the Bronx to watch a reenactment of the crucifixion of Christ, next door a steady trickle of believers quietly collected water from that church's grotto, taking the liquid home to heal, cure, and bless.
  • Community celebrates renovated Queens Library branch damaged by Sandy

    Community celebrates renovated Queens Library branch damaged by Sandy

    Friday, April 18 2014 5:13 PM EDT2014-04-18 21:13:20 GMT
    It's been nearly a year and a half since Superstorm Sandy tore through the Queens Library Arverne branch in the Rockaways. Now it is back in business.Sandy left behind 4 feet of water. A massive renovation -- gutting, cleaning, repainting, rewiring -- was needed to get everything back up to speed. The library, which reopened March 18, is a vital part of the community.
    It's been nearly a year and a half since Superstorm Sandy tore through the Queens Library Arverne branch in the Rockaways. Now it is back in business.Sandy left behind 4 feet of water. A massive renovation -- gutting, cleaning, repainting, rewiring -- was needed to get everything back up to speed. The library, which reopened March 18, is a vital part of the community.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices