What beautiful news!
13-year-old Tumani is excepting her very first baby! The critically endangered gorilla, who currently resides at the New Orleans' zoo, is already being trained in preparation for the bundle of joy! Tumani has been given a "doll" to care for, but since a stuffed doll doesn't look anything like a gorilla, it could be easily torn apart.
Instead, they come up with another idea. Audubon Zoo's chief veterinarian, Dr. Robert McLean, explained that they created a "rugged section of canvas firehose tubing has been woven roughly to the proportions and weight of a 4-pound newborn gorilla."
"I haven't seen it myself, McLean continued. "Apparently it's pretty ugly but it does the job."
Tumani is a western lowland gorilla. In 2016, there was only an estimate of 362,000 in the wild, and that number falls about 2.7% a year. And according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, by 2082, those numbers might plummet to 80%.
Unfortunately, due to diseases, such as Ebola, habitat loss, and illegal hunting, their population is plummeting quickly.
And all the more reason to celebrate Tumani and her baby to be. We wish this mama a healthy delivery and a healthy baby!
Story via ABC3340 News