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Injured Baby Gorilla Reunited With Her Mother At Lincoln Park Zoo

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A baby gorilla and its mother have been reunited at Lincoln Park Zoo. (Lincoln Park Zoo)

A baby gorilla and its mother have been reunited at Lincoln Park Zoo. (Lincoln Park Zoo)

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(STMW) — A baby western lowland gorilla, injured earlier this year at Lincoln Park Zoo, has been reunited with her mother and other troop members after months of around-the-clock care.

Nayembi, born in November 2012, and her mother, Rollie, 16, have been living side-by-side at the Regenstein Center for African Apes, where they could see and smell each other for the past several months, a statement from the zoo said. On Wednesday though, they were fully reintroduced under the watchful eyes of zoo staff.

“This is exactly what we have been working toward, and seeing Nayembi back in Rollie’s arms is incredible,” curator of primates Maureen Leahy said in the statement. “Both gorillas seemed to pick up right where they left off with their mother/daughter relationship.”

In addition to being back with her mother, Nayembi has a playmate. Baby Patty, born just over a month before Nayembi, and her mother Bana, 18, are also living with the newly-reunited pair, the statement said. All four are staying in an area adjacent to the rest of the troop, including Kwan, the silverback who fathered both youngsters.

Animal care staff has been providing 24-hour care for Nayembi since she suffered a severe facial injury in February, though the cause of the injury was not clear.

Eventually, both mother and baby pairs will be reintroduced to the other three members of the troop, but until then, round-the-clock care will continue.

“This is the first step in the very delicate process of full troop reintroduction,” Leahy said. “We are watching closely to make sure Nayembi continues to eat appropriately. We want to make sure she is absolutely comfortable in her new surroundings and will make any adjustments needed to ease this transition.”

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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