It’s time for a fresh start for an orphaned gorilla.
At just nine months old, baby gorilla Zahra is about to embark on a big journey.
"Zahra will transfer to another zoo that has a proven gorilla surrogate mom, a tolerant silverback and then females of multiple ages with offspring of multiple ages." Said Milwaukee zoo’s Beth Rich.
Zahra was orphaned in April, when both her parents died within a matter of weeks from what exams showed to be gastrointestinal infections. Three other animals in the apes and primates exhibits showed similar symptoms.
"For the animals that have shown some minor symptoms, they’ve started them on antibiotics and they have cleared up. So right now everybody looks really, really good." Said Rich.
That includes Zahra, who continues to gain weight and receive 24/7 care from zookeepers.
"It is very labor-intensive. And our zookeepers, I cannot say enough good about how fantastic they are." Said Rich.
Zookeepers sleep with her, work with her and even carry her around using a special gorilla t-shirt to mimic what a normal upbringing would look like.
"In a stable family group, she`s always going to be either on her mom or close proximity to her mom. She`s never going to be alone." Said Rich
And now it`s time for her to find a new mom. Within the next week, Zahra will transfer to another zoo with a history of successfully surrogate-raising gorillas.
"This is a good thing. This is a really good thing for her and her long term care and welfare." Said Rich.
Hoping for a happy ending for whats been a tumultuous few months.