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Friday, October 12, 2012

No Dice on the Darts

When we left off last time, we told you Olympia had stolen a gorilla baby. Yes, Olympia, the dominant female in the Forest Glade enclosure at the NC Zoo, and mother to her own baby boy gorilla, had grabbed baby boy Bomassa and was feeding and keeping him as well her own sweet Apollo. She was doing a great job, mind you, but had zero interest in giving him back! Zoo personnel wanted to reunite Bomassa with his mother Jumani, seen here munching on lettuce, but knew that the standard route of shooting an animal with a tranquilizing dart was not advisable in this particular case. 
Jamani holds Bomassa while dining, just
a few days before her baby was stolen from her.
       Why was the tranquilizing dart a bad idea, to be avoided at all cost? It's because a good strong dose of medicine would be required to put Olympia to sleep long enough for zookeepers to remove that baby. Should Olympia make a sudden turn at the time of the dart shooting, that dart full of heavy duty sleep-inducing-stuff might just hit one of the tiny boy gorillas. At just about nine pounds, either baby would be overwhelmed by that kind of a shock, with possible fatal results. Therefore use of a dart was completely out of the picture. The zookeepers had to keep thinking, considering, and consulting; meanwhile Olympia was keeping both babies for many days running.