SLIDESHOW: Louisville Zoo names baby gorilla
The baby gorilla was orphaned when her mom, Mia Moja, died following complications from birth.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- There's baby fever at the Louisville Zoo. The new baby gorilla born there in March now has a name.
Jill Katka, the Asst. Mammal Curator says, "Her mom had a nickname, it was squirrel. We called her 'squirrel' because of her active energy and agility. We decided to honor her mom by naming the Swahili name for 'squirrel' which is Kindi."
She's cute and cuddly and 4.4 pounds.
Kindi's mother Mia Moja- died days after her C-section. Since then, Zoo officials have been caring for her 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Kindi is bottle fed every two hours.
"So we're wearing the gorilla fur vest and we're making gorilla vocalizations to her and we're doing everything a gorilla mom would do including 24-7 care," Katka said. "So we never put the baby down because a gorilla mom would never put her baby down."
Just like any other infant, Kindi spends most of her day sleeping, but is becoming more active. She likes to suck on the fingers of her keepers like a pacifier. They are teaching her how to be a gorilla.
"So during the day, we're walking around making good gorilla vocalizations," Katka explained. "So when she eats, we do this really low purr at her. It's a really comforting sound for gorillas, we'll walk around on all fours and forage for food."
Zoo officials say once she's about 5 months old or can walk up to the mesh to be bottle fed, she will be paired with a surrogate mother.
One of the other female gorillas has shown interest and her father is very protective of Kindi too.
"Kindi has to hold on," She has to hold on and that's critical. We have a fur vest that has a front and a back. When she gets older, we'll be able to put the baby on our back and walk around on all fours, so she can learn the important skill of back riding."
You can see Kindi Thursdays to Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.
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