Imani and her 12-day-old baby girl became reacquainted on Monday, March 24.
ALL EYES ON THEM: It's a story that's captivated animal lovers around the planet: Veterinarians delivered a baby gorilla, a girl, at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, via emergency C-section on March 12. The infant appeared to have respiratory problems, and needed special care, and was separated from her mother Imani while staffers could treat her. The baby is now recovering well, as is 18-year-old Imani, and the duo was reunited on Monday, March 24, after visual introductions of the baby were made to the gorilla troop over the last few days (a "protective mesh barrier" provided the screen through which the older gorillas could observe the troop's newest member).
AND THE RESULT? "Since the physical introduction occurred, Imani has been extremely attached, holding and constantly carrying around the young gorilla." The mother smelled her infant and cradled her, and "about three hours in she began nursing the baby," which was just the positive sign staffers were waiting for. A 5-year-old gorilla named Frank, one of the eight gorillas at Safari Park, also called upon the bambino during the day.
WANT TO SEE... the visual introduction that took place over the weekend? There's sweet video. And you can bet there'll be more from where this came from, given that there's a baby girl gorilla in the house -- er, park.