Gorilla Grieves over Her Baby’s Death

August 22, 2008 · Print This Article · Email This Post

People don’t usually think of animals as experiencing emotions. But 11-year-old gorilla Gana, who lives at the Allwetter Zoo in Muenster in northern Germany, was inconsolable this week when her three-month-old baby, Claudio, died.

Gana the Gorilla Mourns Baby Claudio in Muenster, Germany

Zoo director Joerg Adler said that “Claudio died in his mother’s arms, [we] think from some heart defect.” As Gana held her baby up, trying to restore movement to his head and arms, zoo visitors wept. She also carried Claudio on her back and, as she walked, she turned every few steps to see if the walk had revived him.

Gana the Gorilla Mourns Baby Claudio in Muenster, Germany

Zookeepers have been unable to retrieve Claudio’s body, as Gana is fiercely protecting him. In the wild, gorillas sometimes keep a dead baby for weeks.

Learn about the delightful jerboa, which is an endangered species.

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