A baby gorilla recovering from a severe facial injury was reunited with her mother this week at Lincoln Park Zoo.
Zoo President Kevin Bell said they're not sure what caused the injury, although it appeared to have been inflicted by another gorilla.
Animal Care and veterinary experts at Lincoln Park Zoo called Nayembi’s recovery remarkable.
Nayembi and her mother Rollie, 16, have been living side by side at Regenstein Center for African Apes and could see and smell each other for several months, according to a release from zoo officials.
But on Wednesday, the two were finally reunited under the watchful eyes of zoo staff.
“This is exactly what we have been working toward, and seeing Nayembi back in Rollie’s arms is incredible,” Curator of Primates Maureen Leahy said in a statement. “Both gorillas seemed to pick up right where they left off with their mother/daughter relationship.”
The reunion has been a long time coming, with animal care staff providing 24-hour care for Nayembi since her injury.
Zoo officials said eventually the mother and baby will be reintroduced to the troop of apes, but in the meantime, around-the-clock care will continue.
“This is the first step in the very delicate process of full troop reintroduction,” said Leahy. “We are watching closely to make sure Nayembi continues to eat appropriately. We want to make sure she is absolutely comfortable in her new surroundings and will make any adjustments needed to ease this transition.”