6-day-old endangered gorilla baby dies at New Orleans zoo

National News

FILE – In this photo provided by the Audubon Nature Institute, Tumani, a critically endangered western lowland gorilla holds her newborn at an enclosure at the Audubon Zoo, following its birth on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in New Orleans. Less than a week after celebrating the birth of the infant gorilla, the zoo in New Orleans is mourning its death. Audubon Zoo officials say the baby born Friday died on Wednesday, Sept. 9. (Jonathan Vogel/Audubon Nature Institute via AP, File)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Less than a week after celebrating the birth of a critically endangered gorilla, captured in a tender moment image that was shared around the world, a zoo in New Orleans is now mourning its death.

Audubon Zoo officials say the baby born Friday died on Wednesday. The cause is not yet known, but officials say the 13-year-old mother may not have produced enough milk.

Veterinarian Robert MacLean says, “unfortunately, it is not unusual for a first-time gorilla mom to lose an offspring.”

Officials say necropsy results will be available in a few weeks.

The baby seemed to be doing well at first but appeared lethargic and weak Wednesday evening. It was taken to the zoo’s animal hospital but veterinarians couldn’t save it.

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