Tiny Tano Finds a Home After a Rocky Start
November 23, 2011
Wilhelma Zoo in Stuttgart, Germany is now home to Tano, a tiny baby Gorilla who was transported from his birth place in Zoo Prague just a week ago. His inexperienced mother Bikira was unable to care for him, so Zoo Prague moved him to Wilhelma in coordination with the European Endangered Species Programme. Tiny Tano is not a complete stranger to Wilhelma, he is the great-grandson of former Stuttgart gorillas Dina and Banjo. His mother Bikira was also hand raised at Wilhelma from 1995 to 1998. Tano has been doing very well in his new surroundings so far, being expertly hand-reared by keepers, he is sleeping well and drinking plenty of milk.
Listen closely for the tiny breaths Tano takes as he adjusts himself in his surrogate mother's arms in this video below.
It's been quite a start to life for little Tano. While at Zoo Prague, keepers rushed him to an incubator because without the body warmth of Bikira, he would not have survived. Attempts were made to return him to his mother's arms. Sadly, these were unsuccessful. In order to ensure the infant's survival, hand-rearing was the only option. The combination of round the clock care, a hot water bottle and a fur cloth as well as a device to mimic the beating of a gorilla mother's heart are all employed to ensure as normal an infancy as possible under the difficult circumstances.
There are a number of short videos and another picture beneath the fold...