A Zookeeper’s Heroic Efforts to Save a Sick Baby Gorilla Rejected by its Mother

Gorillas are among the closest animal relatives to humans, and their unique behaviors and personalities can make them fascinating subjects for research and observation. Recently, an Australian zookeeper named Chad Staples stepped in to care for a baby gorilla named Kaius who was rejected by his mother.

Kaius was born at Mogo Wildlife Park in New South Wales, and his birth was the first for the zoo’s gorilla family. According to reports, the baby’s mother, Kipenzi, “did a great job” during the birth, but the infant’s father, Kisane, took him away from his mother during a critical feeding period. Although Kisane was gentle with the newborn, the separation put Kaius’ life in danger, and he developed sepsis pneumonia and was rejected by his mother.


Chad and the zoo’s staff were not ready to give up on the baby gorilla, however. Chad provided round-the-clock care for Kaius, giving him special love and attention as if he were his own child. He mimicked the exact care that a human baby would receive, including nutritional, hygiene, medical, emotional, and developmental care.


Chad’s care was instrumental in Kaius’ recovery. The zookeeper provided skin-to-skin contact, which helped stabilize Kaius’ heart rate and breathing. Over the past few weeks, Kaius has made a steady recovery and has put on weight and grown stronger.


While Chad’s hand-rearing has been essential for Kaius’ recovery, the ultimate goal is for the baby gorilla to be reunited with his family and fellow gorillas. Chad hopes that Kaius will grow up to be a beautiful, strong Silverback and have his own family group to look after.


In the meantime, Kaius is making steady progress in the arms of his special caretaker. Chad reports that Kaius is doing “so so good” and has a brightness in his eyes that gives everyone hope. We’re glad to hear that this beautiful baby gorilla is on the road to recovery thanks to the loving care of his dedicated zookeeper.

Written by Pasan Nanayakkara

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