Each week of Kindi’s Journey seems to be a week of firsts. This one is certainly no exception. It has been a week of preventative healthcare and exploring new worlds.
Primates, like humans, can get a cold, the flu or have other similar health issues. So just like a human infant, Kindi got her first shots this week to vaccinate her against possible infectious diseases. She seemed unfazed, continuing to drink her bottle while the vaccinations were being administered by the Zoo’s hospital staff. She received her DTP vaccination against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough) and a separate Polio vaccination.
This week has been a big preventative health adventure for Kindi and she has been a real trooper throughout her exams. Longtime ultrasound volunteer Debby Wenger, from Partners in Women’s Health, was joined by new volunteer, Kristina Able from Jewish Hospital, to perform Kindi’s first abdomen and brain ultrasound. Both volunteers are registered diagnostic medical sonographers. The exam showed that Kindi’s brain and abdominal organs are normal and developing like they should be. We plan to do an ultrasound of her heart in the next few weeks just to check for any birth defects and establish a baseline for future heart checkups.
Kindi is now exploring more areas of the Gorilla Forest beyond her nursery and training area. You’ve been able to see her in the small training space located between two of the three dayrooms (exhibit spaces). She has been on view with her keepers Thursdays through Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. If you’re lucky, you may now see her exploring new areas inside and outside — always with a keeper, of course. This is part of her ongoing acclimation to Gorilla Forest. Keepers need to get her familiar with all of the spaces, sounds, sights and smells that she will encounter when she joins a surrogate gorilla mother in the future
Some Zoo guests riding the train got a surprise peek at Kindi recently as they rolled by Gorilla Forest. Kindi and her keeper were visiting the grassy area behind the exhibit. As the train passed, we saw faces erupt in huge smiles when they realized they were catching a special glimpse of our infant gorilla.
Kindi is scooting around now and starting to get mobile! “Scooting” is almost crawling, but instead of using both her arms and legs, she is mainly pulling herself along with her strong little arms. Kindi is also starting to explore on her own, much like she would do with her mom. Keepers keep a close eye on her and if she strays too far, they vocalize with a low rumbling sound to reassure her — all things mom would do.
Next time we will take a look at some of your most frequently asked questions.