Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle announced that its female gorilla Nadiri gave birth to a baby girl on Nov. 20 at approximately 11:30 a.m., but the mother rejected the baby.
"Our new baby weighs a healthy 5 pounds. Her vital signs look good and she is physically normal," said Dr. Darin Collins, Woodland Park Zoo's director of animal health, according to the Woodland Park Zoo blog.
Unfortunately, Nadiri has not taken to the baby and walked to the other side of her den after giving birth, prompting zoo officials to care for the newborn reports King5.
After a thorough checkup, zoo staff kept the baby close to Nadiri to gauge the mother's interest.
"Unfortunately, Nadiri didn't approach her baby or show any interest," said Curator Martin Ramirez, according to Fox 13. "Our goal is to methodically expose Nadiri to her baby and help kick in that maternal instinct. She remains within visual contact and has content vocalized toward her baby, so she's showing some interest. We'll continue these efforts as long as we see positive interactions. The baby has successfully taken her first bottle, and we are prepared to bottle feed and provide round-the-clock care until Nadiri shows signs she wants her baby."
The baby hasa been kept in a bedroom next to Nadiri's den, and zoo staff are optimistic that with time, Nadiri, a first-time mother, will accept her baby.
"They hope that she will pick up her baby, start to nurse her and cuddle her. She wasn't showing the kind of maternal behavior that a mom normally would as soon as a baby is born," said zoo spokeswoman Gigi Allianic, according to the Seattle Times.
Nadiri, having being rejected by her own mother, had been raised by zoo staff for the first 10 months of her life. This had concerned zoo officials, who have been training Nadiri in child-rearing. But the lessons do not seem to have had an effect.
Nadiri is part of a group of 11 gorillas at Woodland Park Zoo. The latest birth comes after eight years and is the 13th at the zoo.