Lincoln Park Zoo is saddened to report death of baby gorilla
Chicago (November 25, 2011)---Officials and staff are deeply saddened to report the death of the western lowland gorilla baby born nine days ago on November 16. Animal care staff found the infant dead this morning, still in the arms of her mother, Bana.
Said Megan Ross, vice-president of animal care, "This is an extremely sad day for the Lincoln Park Zoo family. We have been watching the mother and infant very closely since the birth and felt cautiously optimistic that the baby was healthy and being cared for appropriately. We are all surprised and very saddened by this tragic turn of events."
Bana was allowed to keep the baby for several hours in order to properly adjust to what happened. Gorillas' periods of mourning are well documented and often parallel those of humans.
Bana, a first-time mother, carried the baby full term, and the infant appeared to be fully-developed. The official cause of death is yet to be determined , as a full necropsy (animal autopsy), will be performed by the zoo's veterinarians and pathologists to determine the cause of death. At the present time, the cause is unknown.
Said Ross, "The sad reality is that infant mortality is not altogether that uncommon in wild animals, but nonetheless we are absolutely devastated to lose this important newborn which is a critically endangered species."
The Regenstein Center for African Apes will remain closed to the public today in order to give the gorillas, and animal care staff time to mourn and adjust to the loss.