Infant Gorilla Growing Up Thanks to Human Surrogate Moms

Baby Kamina has been raised by zoologists at the Cincinnati Zoo

Kamina has been tended by zoologists at the Cincinnati Zoo since her arrival earlier this year.

The zoologists tried to get two female gorillas in the zoo to tend to Kamina, but after repeated attempts, the adult gorillas still were not interested in Kamina.

So the humans took over. To keep the baby gorilla from becoming accustomed to people, they wear special gorilla suits when they are around Kamina.

"Our team of human surrogates has done everything right," said Ron Evans, curator of primates. "Kamina has learned all of the behaviors she needs to know in order to be successful in a gorilla group. Unfortunately, neither of the adult females that we hoped would bond with her did."

The baby gorilla was born at the Oklahoma City Zoo in August, but her mother did not demonstrate any "signs of maternal care toward her baby," according to a a statement from the Cincinnati zoo.

As a result, Kamina was moved to Ohio, where she was watched over by a team of 16 surrogates. After Kamina didn't bond with either of the two female gorillas, the team decided to move her to the Columbus Zoo in Columbus, Ohio.

"The good news is Kamina is very healthy and her gorilla skills are extremely sharp," Evans said. "We have had a long collaborative relationship with our great colleagues in Columbus for many years. I am very happy that she will be in their fine care. The gorilla community is a tight knit bunch and we all support each other."