Gorilla Death Stymies Zoo Workers

Baby in Lincoln Park Zoo had no visible wounds
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2011 3:31 PM CST
Zoo Workers Stymied by Gorilla Death at Lincoln Park Zoo
In this photo taken Nov. 18, 2011, provided by the Lincoln Park Zoo, Western Lowland Gorilla mother Bana hold her new her baby which was born on Nov. 16, 2011.   (AP Photo/ Lincoln Park Zoo, Todd Rosenberg)

The death of a 9-day-old baby gorilla at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago has left authorities scratching their heads, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Yesterday, first-time mom Bana carried her baby's lifeless body to the zoo's gorilla enclosure, but zoo officials couldn't spot any serious wounds. "There are no bite marks or cuts and no sign of aggression, but it is possible she may have been dropped or even sat on," says a zoo spokesperson.

But life among gorillas can be dangerous. Last year, one family scuffle led to a baby gorilla losing part of a leg in Louisville, Kentucky. Earlier this year, an infant gorilla in London died during a group fight after a new male entered the group. In the wild, most gorilla infanticides happen when the dominant male dies, forcing moms to seek protection before another male murders her baby. As for Bana, zoo workers let her hold her baby for a few hours "to make peace with what happened." (For another ape story, read about the death of a chain-smoking chimp.)

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