Gorilla mother Gana, seen mourning her dead son last year, gives birth to a healthy female in German zoo
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A gorilla named Gana who lives in the Allwetter Zoo in Muenster, Germany, was the subject of a number of upsetting news stories last year. Gana had given birth to a male, named Claudio by zoo staff, who lived only three months before succumbing to an intestinal infection.
Gana was distraught when Claudio died, refusing to allow keepers to remove his body and instead carrying it with her for several days. Horrified visitors watched as she tried futilely to revive Claudio after his death, and the aftermath led to a wider discussion on the emotional lives of animals.
But the news about Gana is infinitely better this week: She gave birth Sunday to a healthy female that zoo staff say they’ll most likely name Claudia. (The baby’s ‘godmother’ is German television personality Claudia Kleinert.) ‘Gana looks very happy,’ zoo spokesperson Ilona Zuehlke told the Associated Press.
The new baby is Gana’s third; the first, a female named Mary Zwo, was sent to a zoo in Stuttgart after Gana neglected her. According to German news source Spiegel Online, Gana had been pining for the company of the zoo’s other adult gorillas, from whom she was separated because Mary Zwo’s father had become violent toward mother and infant. Alone with Mary Zwo, Gana was depressed and failed to provide adequate care, leading the baby to become severely dehydrated. Mary Zwo, now a healthy adult, continues to live at the Stuttgart zoo.
This time around, both Gana and her baby are reportedly doing well, and Gana’s maternal instincts have kicked in, as evidenced by a series of photos you can see after the jump!
-- Lindsay Barnett
1st photo: Philipp Guelland / AFP/Getty Images
2nd, 3rd, 4th photos: Mark Keppler / Associated Press