Gorilla Raised by Humans

What mama gorilla could possibly reject this?

But Gladys' real mom did, so these humans at the Cincinnati Zoo took over.

"Today, for the first day, we stuck her on our backs."

You might remember seeing them crawling around, giving her a bottle, roughhousing gorilla style -- all the while wearing fake fur vests from a company called fabulous furs that normally advertises the wow factor for humans.

At least, they didn't have to wear a bunny costume like Anderson Cooper did to please a couple of bonobos...

"I bought you presents."

...because the bunny happens to be their favorite character.

The fake furs enabled Gladys to cling to the surrogate moms as if they were real gorillas.

They called the 4-month process...

"Gorillafication."

"the humans also had to speak gorilla with disciplinary coughs and soothing belches."

"gorillas make these when they're content."

and when Gladys was sassy or nippy, displaying what they called "Glatitude," she got a warning.

They exposed Gladys to clanging doors, the outdoor habitat...

"Gladys, it's hard being a gorilla."

...even a fake-fur-vested reporter..

"she peed on me."

She showered him.

They showered her with affection.

They introduced Gladys through what they called this "howdy" mesh to four gorilla candidates, only one of whom would take over as Gladys' gorilla surrogate mother.

The winner was a gorilla named M'linzi, who had been an excellent mom to her own baby. But this wasn't love at first sight.

"Gladys even got a little nervous and bit M'linzi a couple of times, but M'linzi was very patient."

After a week or so, M'linzi was carrying Gladys around, grooming her, comforting her when she got upset. Though Gladys still probably doesn't appreciate being dragged out of a good nap.

"Gorillafication is a one-way street. After the humans hand Gladys over to her own kind..."

"We don't take her back. She's in there for good."

...and though Ron Evans says he'll miss holding her...

"Gladys isn't our baby. Gladys isn't a pet. Gladys is a gorilla."

...but will he miss dressing up like a gorilla?

"no, i still do it every Saturday night."

Somehow, it feels like the father giving up the bride.

"oh my!"


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