Baby gorilla's introduction to Cleveland Zoo has caregivers breathing a "sigh of relief"

Cleveland, Ohio - Caregivers from Fort Worth Zoo and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo finally have some good news to share about the three-month-old baby gorilla who's had a rough start in life.

Introducing baby Jameela to the Cleveland Zoo has caregivers excited. The first contact is considered a success.
Introducing baby Jameela to the Cleveland Zoo has caregivers excited. The first contact is considered a success.  © Collage: Screenshot/Instagram/clemetzoo

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo shared a heartwarming update on social media about baby Jameela Wednesday, who was recently transferred to their zoo after attempts to integrate her into the Fort Worth Zoo's gorilla troop were unsuccessful.

While other female gorillas in the Forth Worth showed interest in the baby, they didn't display the necessary behavior for a successful bond.

Fredrika, or Freddy, a potential foster gorilla mama in Cleveland, immediately did, though! She picked Jameela up and cradled her in her furry arms just seconds after being given access to the baby animal.

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Animal curators from Cleveland Metropark Zoo were enthusiastic. "That is exactly what we were hoping to see," gushed, Dr. Elena Less, an animal curator at the Cleveland Zoo.

Seeing Freddy rush over to the nest made by caregivers and immediately pick the baby had caregivers letting out the "biggest sigh of relief," according to Laura Klutts, an associate Animal Curator.

Introductions dubbed successful

Baby Jameela's introduction to the Cleveland troop has started out on the right food.
Baby Jameela's introduction to the Cleveland troop has started out on the right food.  © Collage: Screenshot/Instagram/clemetzoo

The gorilla care team considers this first two-hour interaction a success, even though Jameela's big-brother-to-be, Kyembe, got a bit rambunctious.

Fort Worth Zoo Animal Keeper Angie Holmes excitedly described Freddy's behavior as "pure gorilla."

"We can train them to do all sorts of things, but what we want them to do is want to do those behaviors," she said, adding: "To see that in action here was just an honor, especially since we had tried that many times at our facility. To see what that looks like in a successful way, brought tears to my eyes."

The animal care team says they will continue integrating Jameela into the Cleveland troop.

Cover photo: Collage: Screenshot/Instagram/clemetzoo

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