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Test-tube gorilla mom ignoring newborn


Gerald Hockemeier holds a newborn female Western lowland gorilla Saturday.
 (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Gerald Hockemeier holds a newborn female Western lowland gorilla Saturday. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Associated Press

OMAHA, Neb. – The world’s first test tube gorilla is not bonding with her daughter, zoo officials said Saturday.

Timu, a 9-year-old Western lowland gorilla, took care of her newborn for a few hours after Friday’s birth, but then lost interest, said Dr. Lee Simmons, director of Henry Doorly Zoo.

Timu was hand-raised, which makes it hard for her to bond with her offspring, Simmons said.

The baby will be hand-raised and given to a surrogate gorilla mother in hopes that Timu will learn from watching that relationship and will be a better mother when she has another baby, Simmons said.

Timu also failed to bond with her first baby, Bambino, who was born at the zoo in August 2003. That baby also was hand-raised.

The surrogate mother is expected to be Rosie, the gorilla who gave birth to Timu in 1996 through in vitro fertilization, Simmons said.

Like many gorilla species, the Western lowland gorilla is endangered.

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