Timu, the only gorilla born through in vitro fertilization, gave birth to her second baby on Friday. Though, the mother gorilla took care of her new
daughter for a few hours after the birth, Timu has now neglected to bond with the baby gorilla. The baby gorilla will either be raised by her
grandmother or hand-raised by humans. This is Timu's second baby. Timu also failed to bond with her first baby, Bambino.
OMAHA, Neb. - The world's first test tube gorilla is not bonding with her new 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 the Henry
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 had to be 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.
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Like many gorilla species, the Western lowland gorilla is an endangered species and assisted reproduction is used in effort to sustain their numbers
and keep them genetically healthy. Though, it appears that the biological technology is advanced enough to aid the gorillas in reproduction, raising
the gorillas is a different issue. A socialized mother gorilla is required to raise a baby gorilla. This is important because it suggests that raising
and nurturing a baby is not “instinctual” in this case, and that mothering and nurturing skills must be learned.
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[edit on 4/9/05 by poonchang]