Baby Gorilla Raised By Humans; Watch Gladys Meet Her New Gorilla Mommy [VIDEO]

By iScienceTimes Staff on March 29, 2013 2:11 PM EDT

Baby Gorilla Raised By Humans
Gladys, the baby gorilla being raised by humans at the Cincinnati Zoo. (Photo: Facebook)

A baby gorilla raised by humans at the Cincinnati Zoo is getting ready to be adopted by a new gorilla mother after being rejected by her birth mother. The baby gorilla was raised by humans who wore faux fur costumes and mimicked gorilla behaviors. Ron Evans, the zoo's primate team leader, was one of 10 surrogates tasked with raising baby Gladys.

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"I always use a gorilla accent when I talk to Gladys," Evans told ABC News, as he belted out what zoologists call belch vocalizations, akin to cooing for gorillas. "I squeeze her pretty tight. I groom her just like a gorilla."

Here is a video from the Cincinnati Zoo showcasing Evans and the baby gorilla raised by humans as she meets potential mommies for the first time:

The baby gorilla raised by humans is only eight weeks old and is displaying all of the milestones of a healthy infant gorilla. She can roll over and sit up by herself. She scoots around on her belly. She also recently moved from her belly to all fours, an important first step on her way to brachiating on her own. She's bottle-fed five times a day and has begun eating some cooked solid foods, such as sweet potatoes and carrots. She started teething recently and passed her recent health exams with "flying colors," according to Evans.

"She's at the age now where she really starts growing by leaps and bounds," Evans told the Cincinnati Inquirer.

The next step for the baby gorilla raised by humans is to find a permanent gorilla mother. According to Evans the most likely gorilla surrogates are Samantha, 43, and M'Linzi, 30; both are experienced moms. But two teens, Chewie and Mara, "are just infatuated with this kid," Evans said. Eventually, "the gorillas have to decide who this baby's mom is going to be."

"The older (Gladys) gets ... the more she will imprint on people, the harder it will be to make that transfer," Evans said. "So the younger, the better."

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