Elder gorilla takes over caring for baby born at Ohio zoo after mom 'did not show appropriate maternal care'
CLEVELAND, Ohio - An older gorilla took over caring for a newborn gorilla at an Ohio zoo after the mom could not properly care for her baby.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on Thursday announced the birth of a male gorilla, saying it is the first gorilla born at the zoo in its 139-year history.
The western lowland gorilla was born the morning of October 26 to 23-year-old mother Nneka and 34-year-old father Mokolo, the zoo said.
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But when Nneka did not show "appropriate maternal care" for her baby, zookeepers said the gorilla troop's eldest female, 47-year-old Fredrika, instinctively took over maternal care of the newborn.
(Cleveland Metroparks Zoo via Storyful)
Freddy has herself raised four infants before, zookeepers said.
"Weighing approximately 3 lbs. at birth, newborn gorillas are in almost constant contact with their mother for the first six months and nurse for about three years," the zoo wrote.
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Staff said that over the past several days, Fredrika, or "Freddy," has been bringing the newborn to be bottle-fed by the zoo's animal care team.
The baby has not yet been named, but the zoo said they will reveal a public naming opportunity in the coming weeks.