Visual Introductions for San Diego Zoo Safari Park's Baby Gorilla and Mother

San Diego, California - Animal care staff at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park did a visual introduction between the baby gorilla and other members of the gorilla troop, including mother Imani, early this morning at the Safari Park. The visual introduction is the first of many steps that occur before animal care staff can physically re-introduce the baby gorilla to the troop of gorillas at the Safari Park. This was the first time that the baby gorilla has left the veterinary hospital and has had visual contact with other gorillas.

Keepers are staying close to the baby gorilla and still providing constant care in a bedroom area, where members of the gorilla troop can see the baby gorilla through a protective barrier and start to become familiar with her. This morning, keepers let the entire troop of gorillas out onto their usual gorilla habitat but the gorillas are able to come and view the baby through the protective barrier if they choose to.

"Veterinary staff felt confident in the baby's health to release her from the hospital. This morning we brought her back to the house where she's started visual introductions to the troop," senior keeper Matt Gelvin said. "Everyone is very excited to see the baby, very curious," Gelvin said of the gorillas seeing the baby for the first time.

Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the goal of San Diego Zoo Global. As a leader in conservation, the work of San Diego Zoo Global includes onsite wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, as well as international field programs on six continents.  The important conservation and science work of these entities is made possible by the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy and is supported in part by the Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global.

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