Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Animal Kingdon's newest gorilla, Lilly

Albeit 10 pounds, Lilly is making progress.

Last February 2010, Animal Kingdom was blessed with their newest arrival, Lilly, a western lowland gorilla. A year later, Lilly's weight of just 10 pounds is baffling the zoological team. After one year, the normal weight of a gorilla should be roughly 20 pounds.

Fortunately, first-time mother Kashata, has been lending a helping hand during Lilly's unusual development. Lilly has had difficulty grasping objects, drinking, climbing, and keeping food in her mouth.

In cases like this in humans, doctors would look for problems ranging from neurological disorders to vitamin D deficiency. Animal Kingdom park officials subjected Lilly to a battery of tests including a MRI at the Florida Hospital Celebration, but to date, specialists have found nothing out of the ordinary.

Like humans, Lilly has been undergoing physical therapy in order to develope her mouth functions which is a key component for disseminating important information to the brain. Physical therapy includes stimulation through use of a electric toothbrush that is rubbed in on Lilly's face twice a day.

Multitasking is an important process for gorillas which includes grasping objects with one hand while feeding with the other. Due to the low birthrate of these types of animals in captivity, 10 to 15 a year, finding a gorilla with similar circumstances has been impossible.

Nevertheless, Lilly's progress looks promising to Disney's Animal Kingdom caretakers who feel that her physical status is different from that of just a year ago.

Guests can observe Lilly and her mother at Animal Kingdom's Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.

No comments:

Post a Comment