Orphaned baby gorilla named at Louisville Zoo

Published: Apr. 20, 2016 at 9:17 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 27, 2016 at 9:17 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – The orphaned baby gorilla at the Louisville Zoo has a name.

The 1-month-old girl was named Kindi, which means squirrel in Swahili. Kindi’s mother, Mia Moja, was nicknamed Squirrel because of her energetic attitude.

On Wednesday, Zoo officials allowed reporters to see Kindi for the first time. Staff members are still working to introduce her to other gorillas in Gorilla Forest.

SLIDESHOW: Kindi, Louisville Zoo's baby gorilla, makes her debut

Gorilla Forest Supervisor Jill Katka said, “In order to do that, we have to teach her to be a gorilla. So we're wearing this furry vest and making gorilla vocalizations to her and we're doing everything that a gorilla mom would do including 24/7 care, so we never put the baby down because a gorilla mom would never put her baby down.”

 + Baby gorilla born at Louisville Zoo; mother dies of complications
 + Orphaned gorilla moved to Gorilla Forest
 + Orphaned gorilla baby improving at Louisville Zoo
+ Louisville Zoo searching for surrogate for baby gorilla

Kindi was born via an emergency cesarean on March 14. Her mother died of complications from the surgery the following day. Staff members are hoping to find a surrogate mother for her in the next few months.

Zoo officials said Kindi is especially important to her species as a whole because there has been a 60 percent decline of gorillas in the wild.

The public will get the chance to see Kindi beginning Thursday, April 21 at Gorilla Forest. For more information about Gorilla Forest at the Louisville Zoo, click here.

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