BREAKING NEWS Huntsville police arrest man for deadly hit-and-run wreck in August Full Story

Orphaned baby gorilla finds new family

The Milwaukee County Zoo announced on Monday, June 11 that its female baby gorilla, Zahra, born Sept. 9, 2017, will t...

Posted: Jun 13, 2018 9:02 AM
Updated: Jun 13, 2018 9:02 AM

The Milwaukee County Zoo announced on Monday, June 11 that its female baby gorilla, Zahra, born Sept. 9, 2017, will transfer to a stable gorilla family unit at another AZA-accredited zoo.

"She's getting ready to start the next chapter of her life, which is all about how to be a gorilla," said Beth Rich, the director of animal management and health.

Zahra's father, Cassius, passed away unexpectedly on April 12, as did her mother, Naku, on April 28. From that time on, Zahra has participated in human-assisted rearing, as zookeepers are staying with her 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Several zoo professionals have continued to visit to take shifts caring for Zahra; their knowledge has been invaluable as they have successfully transitioned gorillas in similar situations.

"It is very labor-intensive, and our zookeepers – I cannot say enough good about how fantastic they are. They stepped up and they've been working a lot of long hours," said Rich.

The Milwaukee County Zoo consulted with the Gorilla SSP® (Species Survival Plan) and other zoos that have navigated similar situations on the best course of action for Zahra's management and long-term welfare. The SSP has recommended Zahra be placed at another zoo that currently houses a stable family unit; a female gorilla to act as a surrogate mother, a tolerant silverback male along with other females with offspring of varying ages.

The receiving zoo has successfully surrogate-raised and hand-raised gorillas in the past.

"In a stable family group, she's always going to be either on her mom or close proximity to her mom. She's never going to be alone," said Rich.

At this time, the Milwaukee County Zoo does not have a long-term sustainable gorilla unit in which Zahra can be placed. This stable gorilla family will give Zahra the best opportunity to develop, grow and thrive in the years ahead.

"This is a good thing – this is a really good thing – for her, and her long-term care and welfare," Rich stated.

During Zahra's 24-hour care, animal staff from other zoos assisted in her rearing and ongoing development, and will accompany her during the transfer. The Milwaukee County Zoo's lead gorilla keeper will also accompany Zahra, to make the transition as smooth as possible. Zahra will be transferred within the next week. To honor the request of the receiving zoo, both the destination zoo and the Milwaukee County Zoo will simultaneously announce when Zahra arrives at her new home.

Huntsville
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 61°
Florence
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 61°
Fayetteville
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 59°
Decatur
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 61°
Scottsboro
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 59°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 131988

Reported Deaths: 2304
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19123337
Mobile13122290
Montgomery8688173
Madison763075
Tuscaloosa7323114
Lee575159
Shelby571950
Baldwin508749
Marshall387943
Calhoun337439
Etowah336547
Morgan321426
Houston272722
Elmore255847
DeKalb237119
St. Clair224335
Walker224380
Talladega207726
Limestone200119
Cullman186218
Dallas174926
Franklin174528
Russell17312
Autauga169124
Lauderdale165333
Colbert160926
Escambia156425
Blount156014
Jackson151611
Chilton150227
Dale133343
Covington131127
Coffee12838
Pike11619
Tallapoosa113683
Chambers113242
Clarke105517
Marion94828
Butler91138
Barbour8387
Winston71612
Marengo70119
Lowndes64927
Pickens63814
Bibb63610
Randolph62212
Hale61528
Lawrence59220
Bullock59114
Geneva5814
Monroe5768
Cherokee56916
Clay5527
Washington54913
Perry5386
Wilcox53111
Conecuh52411
Crenshaw52331
Macon47820
Henry4754
Fayette4269
Sumter41819
Lamar3532
Choctaw34512
Cleburne3326
Greene30015
Coosa1653
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 184409

Reported Deaths: 2233
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby30155447
Davidson26017293
Hamilton914489
Rutherford903187
Knox899872
Williamson508936
Sumner470593
Wilson337343
Putnam307037
Out of TN301324
Montgomery296243
Unassigned28916
Bradley285816
Madison270156
Sevier251813
Blount244023
Maury226023
Washington217933
Robertson217233
Sullivan205431
Hamblen183825
Tipton173917
Trousdale16517
Gibson153819
Hardeman153225
Wayne14805
Bedford130916
Dyer127912
Dickson119913
Cumberland115317
Fayette114318
Anderson113311
Henderson113119
Carter112627
Weakley111819
Loudon11156
Coffee110812
Greene110737
Obion10889
McMinn106824
Jefferson106614
Macon102020
Warren10127
Monroe100116
Lawrence97011
Hardin96714
Lauderdale93615
Haywood92116
Lake9152
Franklin9137
Bledsoe8454
Roane8414
Carroll83217
McNairy81016
Cheatham79010
White7849
Rhea78111
Hawkins77016
Cocke7349
Marshall7175
Overton6805
Smith67810
Johnson6482
Henry6029
Chester5919
Lincoln5791
Giles56817
DeKalb54611
Hickman5385
Crockett51319
Marion5007
Decatur4786
Fentress4363
Claiborne4304
Campbell4193
Polk37811
Grainger3503
Union3371
Benton3329
Jackson3055
Morgan3053
Unicoi2801
Cannon2760
Grundy2495
Humphreys2323
Sequatchie2233
Meigs2213
Clay2105
Scott2002
Houston1860
Lewis1771
Stewart1752
Moore1541
Van Buren1530
Perry1460
Hancock1063
Pickett982

Community Events