[monkeywire] Granny gorilla instructs daughter on baby care
lettherebemonkeys at yahoo.com
Wed Nov 12 16:36:12 EST 2003
Granny gorilla instructs daughter on baby care
A granny gorilla has been spotted instructing her
daughter on baby care in the US.
The daughter, an 11-year old captive western lowland
gorilla called Ione, proved to be a hopeless parent
when her first baby was born.
She neglected the infant, which in the end had to be
raised by keepers at San Diego Wild Animal Park in
California, reports New Scientist.
But when Ione's second baby arrived, her mother came
to the rescue. Initially, Ione left her baby on the
ground in front of her 21-year-old mother, Alberta,
who picked him up and handed him back.
When Ione made no attempt to take the baby, Alberta
moved closer, pushing the newborn into his mother's
face until she accepted him. Keepers who were closely
monitoring Ione observed similar behaviour several
times over a period of two days.
By the third and fourth day, Ione was holding the
New Scientist magazine reports: "Sometimes, Alberta
would hold the baby's arm, and Ione would hand him
over, but when the baby nestled into its grandmother,
Ione quickly took him back. With time, Alberta became
Gorilla mothers are often seen teaching their young to
walk and climb. But experts believe this is the first
reported case of "granny knows best" among gorillas.
Ione died when the baby was 10 months old, but he was
successfully fostered by another female gorilla.
Story filed: 21:05 Wednesday 12th November 2003
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