When a two-month baby gorilla named Gladys needed a mommy, zookeepers at the Cincinnati Zoo dressed for the occasion.
“We’re gorillafying her,” keeper Ashley Chance told CBS News. “That’s what we call it. We act like gorillas, like a grown mother would do.”
Clad in black medical scrubs and a furry vest, Chance and her colleague Ron Evans take over where Gladys’ natural mother, who abandoned her, left off. The process is designed to prepare Gladys for socialization with other gorillas within a few months.
Since the other female gorillas in the Texas zoo where she was born already had offspring of their own, Gladys was transferred to the Cincinnati facility, where there are four possible adoptive mothers.
“hey’re constantly staring at her or looking at her,” said Chance. “Even if they’re kind of off in the distance they’re still, like, making sure they know what she is doing, making sure she is okay. So, yeah, they are very interested in her.”
Watch CBS’ report on zookeepers’ work “gorillafying” Gladys, aired Saturday, below.