That’s right! Kindi got her first tooth — and several more! Although she is still taking her bottle, she is now able to sample some new foods and has some favorites: onions and celery. With her improving hand-eye coordination, Kindi can grasp some her new food offerings and taste them herself. We’ll keep you posted on her newest food favs.
As Kindi continues to mature, her eyes are increasingly able to focus on specific objects and she’s starting to recognize the faces of her keepers. Facial expressions are an important form of communication for primates. Kindi’s immune system has developed to the point where keepers are comfortable removing their protective masks; Kindi is now able to study and learn to read expressions much as she would do with her gorilla mother.
Kindi is also exploring her world more both in her interactions with her keepers as well as learning how to manipulate things in her indoor and outdoor environments like food, tree branches and bedding. Keepers provide Kindi with new toys and tasks to develop her hand-eye coordination and stimulate her curiosity, something that would have occurred naturally with her mother.
Two gorilla surrogate experts from the Columbus Zoo recently visited Kindi and the gorilla care staff. Our special visitors shared a wealth of observations and discoveries gained over a collective 50 years of experience in the exemplary Columbus surrogacy program. The experts liked what they saw at the Louisville Zoo and were impressed with Kindi’s progress and our infant gorilla care plan. They agreed that things are on the right track for a successful gorilla surrogacy plan. We will share more with you about that topic in the days to come.