Published: 15:53, 21 October 2009
by Thom Morris
Baby gorilla Louna has been reunited with his mum after being released from intensive care.
The male infant had fallen ill with a severe case of gastroenteritis that left him semi-collapsed from dehydration.
Although vital for his recovery, Louna’s eight-day removal from the social group at Port Lympne animal park near Hythe for treatment meant that he risked rejection from his mother on his return.
Howletts and Port Lympne veterinary surgeon Jane Hopper said: “Reintroducing an infant to a mother after a period of separation as long as eight days is very difficult and not always successful. It requires patience and commitment on the part of the keepers, and a good maternal instinct on the part of the mother.”
Despite teenage mum FouFou, 17, initially lacking interest in her infant in the afternoon she eventually began to show some maternal affection at 4am.
Firmly settled back into his family group Louna’s appetite has returned and he is back to his normal playful self just in time for his birthday on Friday.
More by this authorKentOnline reporter