Monday, November 14, 2005

Lulu's baby gorilla dies at Atlanta zoo

A baby gorilla at Zoo Atlanta has died less than a week after being born.
Zoo officials say the unnamed baby died Saturday morning. While not premature, the baby was born with a below-average weight of about three pounds.

The baby was the first grandson of the late Willie B., Atlanta's most famous gorilla.

The baby was born last Monday to Willie B.'s six-year-old daughter, Lulu. But Lulu showed no interest in caring for the baby, prompting zoo staff to put the baby in an incubator and begin looking for a surrogate mother.

But the baby's grandmother, Kuchi, who had recently given birth to twins herself, picked up the baby soon after it was born and began caring for him. After a few days, staff at the zoo gave in and allowed Kuchi to nurse the baby along with her own twins.

Doctor Maria Crane, vice president of veterinary services at the zoo, says the infant's death was not caused by a lack of maternal care. He says Kuchi was taking excellent care of the baby.

Story here.

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