Zoo's baby gorilla makes outside debut

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A baby gorilla moved from Texas made her public debut Tuesday at the Cincinnati Zoo.

The 3-month-old lowland gorilla named Gladys Stones appeared in a yard where she'll spend time over the next month with the human surrogates, climbing trees and getting familiar with being outdoors.

Beginning Wednesday, May 1, the Zoo kicks off its Zoo Babies event and visitors will get to see Gladys daily from 12:45 p.m. – 2 p.m. Gladys' appearances are tentative and may be canceled, shortened or rescheduled due to weather (it needs to be at least 60 and sunny) or due to critical stages in her introduction to her gorilla surrogate, that would require her to remain behind the scenes.  Visitors can check the Zoo's website daily to find out if she will be making an appearance.

She was born Jan. 29 at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas. Her mother rejected her, and she was moved to Cincinnati in February to be paired with a gorilla surrogate mother.

Gladys was born at the Gladys Porter Zoo on January 29, 2013.  After birth, mother, 14 -year-old "Kiazi," didn't respond well and rejected the infant.  This behavior, which occasionally happens in first-time mothers, resulted in keepers from the Gladys Porter Zoo stepping in to hand-rear the infant until they had a plan in place. Unfortunately, all of the viable surrogates there already had young gorillas, so they began to look elsewhere.

After countless phone calls with the Gladys Porter Zoo, the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Ape Taxon Advisory Group (TAG) Maternal Management Committee and the Western Lowland Gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP) Committee, the Cincinnati Zoo was determined to be the best home for the baby. Gladys is currently being hand raised by a group of approximately 10 human surrogates, until she can transition to a gorilla surrogate in the coming months.

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