A baby gorilla at a zoo in Washington state had a skull fracture when he got into a family fight.
According to zoo officials, the “collision” that badly injured 2 1/2-month-old Kitoko opened Saturday at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle.
Zoo staff said the baby boy’s gorilla accidentally bit his head when a woman from a six-member family tried to follow Gorilla Tot’s mother, Uzumma, zoo staff said.
Zoo’s director of animal health. Darren Collins said, “The child suffered severe head injuries and a rupture from a bite wound, resulting in a fracture of the bone in the skull.”
“It looks like a serious wound to his head that could heal if there were no complications from the consequences of the infection.”
After the rash, zoo staff isolated the baby and took him to the zoo veterinary hospital for an examination at the zoo’s veterinary hospital, which included “stable” Uzumma, which included diagnostic radiographs and a surgical repair of the wound.
Pediatric neurosurgery consultants at Seattle Children’s Hospital were there to assess the gorilla and repair the injury.
After being under 24-hour care at the zoo hospital, Kitoko received antibiotics and painkillers intermittently.
“We are cautiously optimistic for a full recovery,” Collins said, adding, “Over the next two weeks we will maintain an intensive assessment for any symptoms that may be due to infection or bleeding nerve deficiency.”
Gorilla guards did not witness the fight, but officials said footage showed it happened in a sleeping hole at about 50:50 a.m.
They noticed the baby’s wound 10 minutes later and said he was later nursing and behaving normally
In the western lowlands, gorillas Uzumma and Kitoko live with Kitoko’s father, Koeme, female Nadiri and her daughter Yola, and another female adult, Akenji.
Zoo officials say gorillas usually live in families of five to ten years and are led by influential adult males.
Zoo mammalian curator Martin Ramirez said, “Gorillas are like gentle monsters, but in zoos and in nature there are conflicts between family members.” Conflicts can involve bites and conflicts between individuals. We suspect that an adult female may have inadvertently bit the child while colliding with Uzumma. “
Ramirez said the “priority” was to bring Uzumma and Kitoko together as soon as possible.
The zoo has been temporarily closed due to the coronavirus epidemic.