Posted in 07/08/2008

A female gorilla that had a hard life travelling half the world with men exploiting her has assumed the adoption of a one year-old baby gorilla at Limbe Sanctuary, in Cameroon. Abbey travelled illegaly with her group to Asia, to live in a zoo. The group was intercepted on the way and had to come back to Africa, but they were located in a zoo in South Africa, which is not her country of origin. After PASA\’s and several NGO\’s mobilization, the group was able to return to their country and now has won an adoptive baby.

Bobo, the baby orfan, arrived at Limbe Sanctuary on December, after being rescued from hunters. At Limbe there is a group of 14 gorillas. The Sanctuary had chosen Brighter to be the Bobo\’s  adoptive mother and had done a carefull integration work with them, separating both from the group for them to develop a closer relationship mother-son.

But when Brighter and the baby came back to the group, Abbey had a different idea from that one that the humans had planned. "Surprisingly, Abbey, who is not a dominant female, got near Brighter and delicately took Bobo from Brigther\’s arms and put him on her chest", told Felix Lankester, the Sanctuary director.
"The most interesting is that Brighter did not try to take the baby back. It was too evident to everyone that Abbey was a more protective mother than Brighter, and this was the main point and what we were looking for", added Felix.

The group of 14 gorillas at the Sanctuary now enjoys the presence of a baby, who takes everyone\’s attention. And Felix added: "For Abbey and the other females, this is a chance to experiment motherhood, that is very imporant on the gorillas society. Boredom has gone away and Bobo brings calm to the primates group at Limbe."