One week after the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans revealed the birth of a western lowland gorilla, they announced the infant gorilla had passed away.
Zoo officials at this time are not sure what caused the death of the animal.
Tumani, the zoo’s 13-year-old western lowland gorilla, welcomed her first offspring on September 4. This was the zoo’s first Gorilla born in 24 years.
Mother and her baby were doing both fine, Tumani, and Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO Ron Forman called this a “momentous occasion for Audubon Zoo.”
“We are thrilled to share this birth with our New Orleans community and contribute to the conservation efforts of this critically endangered species.”
Since for Tuman this was the first kid Audubon took extra precautions, he spoke with various doctors, including the Species Survival Plan Gorilla Birth Management Team – Audubon is a member of the Gorilla Species Survival Plan – and working with her to prepare her for motherhood.
Staff carefully monitored mother and kid after the birth and they were both doing fine and getting along well, but animal staff on Wednesday noticed that the infant gorilla was lethargic.
According to the reports the baby animal was sent to zoo hospital but unfortunately couldn’t make it.
Dr. MacLean, Audubon’s Senior Veterinarian, explained that there are a lot of risks involved in gorillas births, and even though the zoo took every necessary precaution that the furry baby was lost.
The staff believes that the death of the little baby was as a result of a lack of lactation from Tumani, but they will wait until a necropsy is performed to determine the cause of death for sure.
“We are heartbroken over the loss,” Forman said.
“This has been a work in progress for many years, from the introduction of the new troop members to the announcement of the birth, everyone involved has worked tirelessly. I am incredibly proud of our team. We will continue to contribute to the conservation of this amazing species.”
We are so heartbroken for this story too.