Zoo's orphan gorilla, Zahra, to leave Milwaukee - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Zoo's orphan gorilla, Zahra, to leave Milwaukee

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MILWAUKEE COUNTY, Wis. (WISN) -

The Milwaukee County Zoo's newest gorilla, Zahra, who was orphaned after the deaths of both parents in a three-week span in April, will soon move to another zoo where veterinarians hope she can grow and thrive.

The receiving zoo, which was not identified, already has a female gorilla who can act as a surrogate mother, a tolerant silverback male and other females with offspring of varying ages, Milwaukee County Zoo spokeswoman Jennifer Diliberti said in a release.

Zahra's father, Cassius, passed away unexpectedly at the zoo on April 12. Her mother, Naku, followed on April 28. Zoo officials last week said the deaths were the result of gastrointestinal infections, likely E. coli from the gorilla exhibit's water system.

Since the gorillas' passing, zoo officials have been providing 9-month-old Zahra with 24-hour care and company. Moving her to another zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums will give her the best opportunity for survival, Diliberti said.

The transfer is expected within the next week.

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