Injured Baby Gorilla Transferred to Zoo's Animal Hospital

by Stephanie Crosby

The two-month old baby gorilla at the Louisville Zoo who is still recovering from serious injuries suffered earlier this month has been moved from its mother’s care to the care of the zoo’s animal hospital. The still unnamed infant had to have part of its left leg removed after an altercation between the three adult gorillas of her family group led to the injuries.

Veterinarian Dr. Roy Burns says the baby was recovering well with her mother until about two days ago.

“There were times when it would sort of look like it was falling asleep and letting its head fall back a little bit,” says Burns. “Also, they noticed when the baby was on the mom’s breast, there wasn’t the aggressive, active suckling motion in the baby’s mouth, the baby would just sort of hold on to the nipple and not be actively suckling.”

He says the change doesn’t mean the baby has taken a turn for the worst.

“This little baby, considering the challenges it’s had, is doing quite well,” says Burns.“What it really needed was a certain antibiotic administration and good, aggressive, nutritional support for it to launch into a more rapid phase of healing to make sure this little baby recovers.”

Burns says the baby is now being cared for by hand by zookeepers. He says hopefully in a few weeks the baby gorilla will regain its strength and can be returned to her mother.