Posted in 02/09/2008


The gorilla Gana, 11 years old, shows his son Cláudio, who died unexpectedly when he was 3-month old, at a Zoo in Muenster, north of Germany. She tried repeatedly to bring his life back, moving him, until she noticed that he had gone forever.

According to the zoo, Gana is in double pain, because one year before she had not accepted the death of her first daughter, Mary Zwo, 6-week old.

This time Gana did not deliver Cláudio\’s body. She kept him on her back, walking with him, with the hope that he would still move.

The pain of a mother has already been witnessed at our Sanctuaries twice. Five years ago Lulu lost Victória, with one week old, and kept her body for 3 months, not accepting her death. She had never been able to keep the babies she had already given birth before and Victoria, who was her hope, passed away. Jude, a chimpanzee who arrived from Ceará stare more than one year ago, has also lost her baby one week after the birth. Her partner Tatá had given birth to Marcelino some weeks before, despite being too weak for the mistreating she had gone through at a private zoo in Fortaleza. Jude, who was not even able to walk when she arrived, fought to keep her baby, who, for the first time, she would be able to raise. When he died, she stayed with more than one month, not accepting his death.

The depth of the feelings of the Great Primates for her children is extraordinary. When a person tells us that the mother did not accept the baby, most of the times we do not believe in the story told to justify the robbery of baby chimps committed by humans who explore them.

Dr. Pedro A. Ynterian
GAP Project International