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.
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.”
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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.