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Lincoln Park Zoo's Baby Gorilla Thrives After Facial Injury

By Samantha Abernethy in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 21, 2013 9:00PM

Baby gorilla Nayembi is recovering quickly from the facial injury that required emergency surgery in February. She can't return to her mother and the rest of the troop yet, but she is now in visual contact with mom Rollie, who has been showing interest in the 4-month-old baby.

“Nayembi is still healing. Allowing the gorillas to touch or potentially groom the injured area would not be beneficial at this time, so as of yet there has not been any physical contact for Nayembi with the other gorillas,” explained Curator of Primates Maureen Leahy. “What is important is that Nayembi is living in very close visual proximity to her family group, including mother Rollie. Rollie can always keep a watchful eye on Nayembi, vocalize to her, and even solicit play behavior. Nayembi is also quick to fix her eye gaze on mother Rollie.”

Zoo staff says she has a hearty appetite for both food and play. The cause of the injury is still unknown.