03/22/2013 02:23 pm ET Updated May 09, 2013

Lincoln Park Zoo Baby Gorilla Recovering 'Remarkably Well' After Major Facial Injury (PHOTOS)

Like many human babies, all one infant gorilla at Lincoln Park Zoo wants to do is sleep and play — something that makes her caregivers happy amid the baby's ongoing recovery following a serious facial injury last month.

“We’re thrilled with how she’s responding,” Megan Ross, Ph.D, the zoo's vice president of animal care, said in an update from the zoo. “We’re seeing a lot of normal baby behaviors — crawling, exploring, putting toys in her mouth.”

(See photo's of Nayembi's recovery below.)

Barely a month after baby Nayembi suffered her serious injury, the pint-sized primate's recovery shows she is doing "remarkably well," according to caretakers. Zoo staff separated the gorilla from her group on Feb. 20 and rushed her to emergency surgery after she was found with cuts on her face.

“Nayembi is still healing. Allowing the gorillas to touch or potentially groom the injured area would not be beneficial at this time, so as of yet there has not been any physical contact for Nayembi with the other gorillas,” said Maureen Leahy, the zoo's curator of primates said in a statement. “What is important is that Nayembi is living in very close visual proximity to her family group, including mother Rollie.

Zoo keepers still don't know what caused the injury, though staff is keeping Nayembi on around-the-clock care.

Nayembi was the zoo's second gorilla baby born last fall -- to parents Rollie and Kwan. Nayembi's father Kwan also fathered Patty, a new gorilla baby born in October, with troop member Bana.

Amazing Recovery For Lincoln Park Zoo Baby Gorilla


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