An Update from Gorilla Forest
Como Zoo’s gorillas welcomed a new member to their family troop on October 18, and now she’s got a name, too: Nyati, the winning choice of the hundreds of visitors who cast a vote for their favorite at Como’s Go Great Apes conservation event last weekend.
Zookeeper Geoff Jungheim reports that mother and baby are thriving behind the scenes at Gorilla Forest, “doing everything we want to see them do”—nursing, napping, and getting to know each other. While two-year-old Arlene is particularly curious about the pair, zookeepers have observed silverback Schroeder redirecting and distracting the playful toddler—a parenting strategy familiar to primates everywhere.
Though Alice lost her first baby just days after it was born in 2014, two years of consistent operant conditioning training experiences at Como Zoo helped the keepers establish a trusting relationship with the western lowland gorilla, who now allows them to monitor her baby’s progress through a protected mesh screen in Gorilla Forest’s progressive animal care areas. “She’s doing everything just right this time around, which is great to see,” Jungheim says.
For more about Gorilla Forest’s growing family, stay tuned for the next edition of Como Friends Insider, the quarterly newsletter coming to mailboxes in late January.