So what happens when an infant gorilla starts getting more active and mobile?
At her current weight of 7 pounds 15 ounces, Kindi is getting strong enough to scoot around. She’s not not quite crawling and pulling herself up on her arms and legs yet, but that’s not stopping her from moving, scooting and exploring her living spaces in Gorilla Forest while staying within arms’ reach of her keepers.
Kindi’s curious nature grows daily and her keeper surrogates are facilitating her investigation of new territory, whether it is the lower landing inside her space in Gorilla Forest or the shade tree in the upper part of the outdoor yard. In the coming weeks, keepers will take her on her first trip to the upper platforms in the indoor exhibits and through transfer passages that lead to different parts of the sanctuary and yards. These are places keepers must acquaint her with in preparation for the time when she will travel through all the exhibit areas with her future gorilla surrogate mom.
As we noted in the last blog, Kindi has some teeth now. The number of teeth has reached four at the time of this posting: two upper and two lower incisors. Kindi is using her new teeth to get introduced to the full array of foods that the adult gorillas eat — though she is only nibbling and tasting at this point, not ingesting much of these new foods yet. Typically, bits of food fall when a gorilla mom eats, so Kindi is not only practicing chewing and tasting foods, but developing the hand-eye coordination infant gorillas would need to reach out and grab a few food morsels from their mom’s coat. Along with this, Kindi is still being bottle-fed. One overnight bottle has been eliminated to give her more nightly sleep time as she is such a busy little gorilla now during the day.