Baby Gorilla Rejected By Mom Is Having 'Positive Interactions' at Cleveland Zoo

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We first introduced readers to Jameela, the newborn lowland gorilla at The Fort Worth Zoo when she was born in January. Jameela was born prematurely via emergency c-section, after her mother exhibited symptoms of preeclampsia. Due to this the zoo thought the mom never experienced the necessary hormonal cues that come during natural and full-term birth, so the mom gorilla showed little internet in her newborn.

After surrogates at the Fort Worth zoo weren't bonding with Jameela, the zoo made the heartbreaking decision to transfer her to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and now we have some promising news regarding how the baby gorilla is doing there.

Brian Price, one of the gorilla keepers at the zoo, along with James Schell updated everyone on how little Jameela is doing. Angie Holmes and Lindsay Byrne, from the Fort Worth zoo gorilla team, were on hand to help with the introductions. One of the team members says, "The introductions here have seemed to go really well, the troop seems very receptive to her presence, and the staff here has been so wonderful in welcoming her as well as us, and we're happy to see where this goes."

Related: Texas Zoo Welcomes Baby Gorilla Delivered by Emergency C-Section

The video continues, "Our initial intro process here has been really great. We've had interest from multiple gorillas. Fredericka, who is our proven surrogate, came over and had some really good interactions with Jameela—she made some vocalizations."

The video also shows little Kayembe acting like he wants to play with baby Jameela. It would be so wonderful if she was welcomed into their troop. This little girl has been through so much. Price also stated that both teams in Cleveland and Fort Worth are very optimistic and hopeful that this will be a great fit for Jameela and all the gorillas in their troop.

What The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Has said About Jameela

The press release reads in part, "We have been in close contact with Fort Worth Zoo and following Jameela’s journey,” said Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Executive Director Dr. Chris Kuhar. “We’re thankful for the partnership with Fort Worth Zoo and the tremendous work by their team. As AZA accredited organizations, we have the ability to leverage strong collaborations like this to ensure the best positive wellbeing for the animals in our care. Together our zoos, along with the entire Gorilla SSP, are hopeful that Jameela will quickly bond and thrive with our troop.”

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s troop has had recent success in gorilla fostering – the troop’s eldest female gorilla, Fredrika or “Freddy,” quickly adopted Kayembe in 2021 after Kayembe’s birth mother similarly didn’t display proper maternal care following his birth. Let's hope baby Jameela has the same level of success in her new home!

You can learn more about the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo by visiting their website here.

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