An endangered lowland gorilla born only nine days ago at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Illinois has now been found to have died.
The western lowland gorilla born nine days ago was the forty-ninth gorilla born in the Lincoln Park Zoo since 1970, when the first gorilla birth was announced, and also the first birth of the endangered species in the last six years. Bana, the mother is sixteen and the father, Kwan, a silverback gorilla is 22.
The preliminary exam as noted at Yahoo News indicated the cause of death as head trauma, Megan Ross, vice president of animal care was quoted at the Lincoln Park Zoo site as saying; “The sad reality is that infant mortality is not altogether uncommon in wild animals, but nonetheless we are absolutely devastated to lose this important newborn which is a critically endangered species,”
The infant was allowed to stay with the mother for several hours to allow her to go through the mourning process which is very well documented in the gorilla's who are in captivity. The link is to Koko.org which details the depth of the grieving process an adult gorilla is capable of. Koko is arguably the gorilla most known for being taught sign language and the gorilla which is perhaps best able to communicate with her friends and keepers and also Michael, another lowland gorilla who passed away in 2000. Koko and Michael were also able to understand spoken English.
The lowland gorillas are more numerous than their cousins the mountain gorillas but are still endangered by encroachment on their habitat and from being killed for 'bushmeat."