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Lincoln Park Zoo gorilla baby recovering after injury

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 10:41 a.m. CST

(MCT) — A baby gorilla born at Lincoln Park Zoo last fall is recovering from a serious facial injury she suffered last week that may have been inflicted by another gorilla.

Zoo staff discovered on Wednesday that Nayembi, born Nov. 16 to mother Rollie, had been injured, according to a zoo spokeswoman. Animal care staff immediately separated the infant and Rollie from the rest of the gorilla group, which includes her father, Kwan, also the father of baby gorilla Patty, born at the zoo in October, according to a blog post by Lincoln Park Zoo President Kevin Bell.

Nayembi underwent surgery soon after her injury was discovered, and is now being treated at the zoo’s animal hospital.

“Her recovery isn’t a certainty—we find few certainties with such fragile infants, nearly a quarter of whom don’t make it through their first year of life,” Bell said in his blog post. “But she’s playing throughout the day and getting plenty of sleep, just like an infant should. These are good signs.”

The zoo has stepped up monitoring of the gorilla troop, which includes a total of eight gorillas, including the two infants, according to Bell.

“It’s been a difficult few days, filled with worry for everyone at the zoo,” but plans to respond to an injury among the gorillas were followed well, and helped get Nayembi the care she needed quickly, Bell said in the blog post.

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