Apes!

Avatar for luv_my_boyz
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Registered: 04-07-2003
Apes!
49
Tue, 08-26-2003 - 11:02am
News from our neck of the woods:

"A female baby gorilla was born on Saturday, August 16 and joins the baby orangutan. I bet you’ve never seen a nursery like this before! The little gorilla weighs 4.9 pounds and is fed eight bottles of Enfamil with iron a day. She is the first gorilla born at Omaha’s Zoo in 20 years. This new birth is exceptionally exciting because her 8 year old mother, Timu, is the world’s first test tube gorilla. Staff is hoping for the baby and mother to bond in the future, and they will be continually working on the introduction process."

I'm not sure what I want to debate, but this is loaded with issues we've discussed. Fio has brought up primate milk before. The gorilla is being fed Enfamil (does she really need the extra iron?) And we have bonding issues thrown into the mix! What is going on here?

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Avatar for kfira71
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Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: luv_my_boyz
Tue, 08-26-2003 - 12:30pm
I don't think there's enough information give here. I have often heard of animals being removed from their mothers in captivity, and "hand-reared" for a certain amount of time, but I thought that only happened when the mother was rejecting the baby (or perhaps even tried to harm it or kill it). I honestly don't know enough about gorillas in captivity to hazard a guess, but I do know that they are an endangered species, and I would imagine the folks at the zoo would know better than most of us whether the baby gorilla "needs the extra iron" or not. Maybe the mother gorilla has some kind of history of rejecting her offspring (don't know if this is her first), or maybe the zoo doesn't want to take the chance that she'll harm the baby, because the species is so endangered? Don't know if that kind of rejection happens only in captivity, or if it happens in nature, too, but it is an interesting topic.

~Kim

"Becoming a parent means agreeing to allow your heart to go walking around outside of your body."

Avatar for yogamom4
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Registered: 04-01-2003
In reply to: luv_my_boyz
Tue, 08-26-2003 - 1:40pm
this is a little OT but still has to do with nursing animals

my daughter had three cats and two of them were pregnant, when one had kittens after we gave away the kittens ~she kept one and gave the mom cat up~ the cat that wasn't pregant took over and started nursing this kitten , then when the other mom cat gave birth , this surrogate mom nurses them also!! they seem to take turns and these baby kittens and the older kittens all cuddle up with both cats in this huge basket, my daugher checked the surrogate mom and she said she had more milk than the othe mom cat!!

i am going to hate to give thses kittens away and take them away from their mommies!!

yoga

Vicky ~32~

SAHM  To

Kelsey The Brainiac

Avatar for queen_brat
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Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: luv_my_boyz
Tue, 08-26-2003 - 2:22pm
I would like to know why the mommy isnt nursing!


April


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Registered: 07-31-2003
In reply to: luv_my_boyz
Tue, 08-26-2003 - 5:29pm
Is she being fed formula because her mom didn't accept her, or because she was taken away from hger mom becuse it's cute to feed an oragatan a bottle in front of gapers?

and if so, maybe the mom has "bonding issues" because she had no mom herself?

Avatar for luv_my_boyz
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Registered: 04-07-2003
In reply to: luv_my_boyz
Tue, 08-26-2003 - 6:53pm
I think you may have hit the nail on the head on both counts.

We went there today and it was actually a bit sad. There was a nursery set up in front of a big window. It had a comfy recliner, a brand name playpen and two cribs- one for the ape and one for the orangutan. The ape was only 9 days old and was lying by himself in a little crib. A zoo employee was playing with and feeding the orangutan. Forget about the fact that he was getting formula, I was sad that he wasn't with his mom.

The description of the babies made sure to mention they were being fed ENFAMIL formula. Tomorrow my son and I are going to call the zoo and ask a few questions. Why are the babies not with their mommies? Why can't they have mommy milk? I am going to ask if/how much Enfamil has donated to the zoo as well. While I am at it, I will probably ask them to correct their Dairy World exhibit where they proclaim that human babies nurse for 1 year. Huh? AMERICAN human babies nurse for one year (if they're lucky), but biologically speaking that is an inaccurate statement.

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Registered: 03-19-2003
In reply to: luv_my_boyz
Tue, 08-26-2003 - 7:10pm
This is just wrong. Especially when you said they have a whole "nursery" set up for the baby primates. That sort of equipment is for human babies - and not all human babies even use that stuff (mine never slept in cribs & we didn't use the port-a-crib, even though we had one).

We have a small zoo here in Madison. It is free to the public. It is pretty nice, actually (they've been doing some remodeling & building new areas for the animals). A couple years ago, a baby Orangutan was born. The public didn't get to see the baby until it was about a year old other than a couple newborn pictures. Mom & baby were left alone to do as mom & baby orangutans do that first year - nurse, bond, etc. Mom carried baby everywhere - they had a little hammock up high & they pretty much hung out there. The zoo even put up rope barrier to keep people back away from the glass & had a note not to disturb mom & baby b/c they were bonding, etc. I don't think the zoo staff bothered them much, either - just occational checks on their health & well-being, but other than that, they left them alone.

That is how it should be done, IMO. Even if it has been 20 years since a baby primate was born in the zoo (I can't remember the last primate birth at our zoo - I'm sure it was over 10 years b/c I've lived here for over 10 years & this is the only one I know of). It seems, from what you said in your second post, that the zoo is more into showing off the new babies than letting mom & baby do what comes naturally after birth.

That also reminds me of when we went to the Milwaukee County Zoo this last Spring. We were by the Chimp area and dh spotted a mom & baby together. They baby couldn't have been very old (less than a year, I'd guess). Mom & baby were in a corner alone - they were snuggling & nursing & having a nap, etc - no one (not even the other Chimps) bothering them. It was a sweet sight to me. The way it is suppose to be in nature.

It is sad that the Omaha zoo feels it is more important to show off the babies than for the babies & mothers to bond & for the babies to have their mother's milk - the way nature intended.

Michelle

Avatar for queen_brat
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Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: luv_my_boyz
Tue, 08-26-2003 - 7:19pm
I agree completly!! Nothing to add just had to say I agree. Maybe there is a reason here thou we will never know. I just find it fishy. If they left the baby with mom then there would be no need to get it use to others. So what if mommy is seen nursing the baby its natural and nothing wrong with it. Anyone who thinks there is needs help! From what you saw sounds like they keep it private anyways. It may not always be like that butthen get then something out of site or send them to an enviroment that can handle it.

April (Ok I had more to say then I thought I did, lol)


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Avatar for luv_my_boyz
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Registered: 04-07-2003
In reply to: luv_my_boyz
Tue, 08-26-2003 - 7:25pm
"It is sad that the Omaha zoo feels it is more important to show off the babies than for the babies & mothers to bond & for the babies to have their mother's milk - the way nature intended."

ITA. The Omaha zoo is a really big, nice zoo (remember Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom)? The zoo is a tourist draw so I guess putting babies on display is good business. We are going to call and ask about the exhibit, though. Because there is a possibility the babies were rejected by their mothers. I'm guessing this is probably not the case, though.

Earlier this summer we saw three brand new baby jaguars nursing from their mother. Now that was cute! During the month of July we'd always head over to that exhibit first to see if the babiew were nursing.

I had the same thoughts about the baby paraphernalia as you. I thought to myself- geez I don't use this stuff for my human babies. Its pretty sad that baby accessories have infiltrated other species.

Avatar for luv_my_boyz
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Registered: 04-07-2003
In reply to: luv_my_boyz
Tue, 08-26-2003 - 7:27pm
They even had brand name disposable diapers on- Pampers maybe.
Avatar for kfira71
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Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: luv_my_boyz
Tue, 08-26-2003 - 7:31pm
<<"It is sad that the Omaha zoo feels it is more important to show off the babies than for the babies & mothers to bond & for the babies to have their mother's milk - the way nature intended.">>

How do you know that this is the reason for the separation? Isn't it possible that the infant's mother was not fulfilling her role as caregiver, so the zoo staff felt it had to take over? It's possible that this mother, perhaps not ever seeing another gorilla mother care for her infant offspring (as often happens to animals raised in captivity), simply doesn't know what to do with her baby. I have heard of that happening -- the mother basically rejects the infant, showing no interest in it, not trying to nurse it, ignoring it, or even trying to harm it.

Not saying this is definitely the case, but it seems a bit unfair to me to make the assumptions that you are regarding the hand-rearing of this gorilla. The breeding of animals in captivity is pretty complex, and just saying "Let nature take its course" may not always be an option, if they want the infant to survive. Just because you have seen other primates nursing their young in other zoos doesn't mean that it is possible in every zoo.

~Kim

"Becoming a parent means agreeing to allow your heart to go walking around outside of your body."

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