Israeli zookeepers at the Zoological Center Tel Aviv – Ramat Gan Safari nursed a baby mandrill back to life and his mother was only too pleased to snuggle him in her arms.
The latest member of the mandrill group at the Israeli zoo was born on January 9 and found by zookeepers in an overnight enclosure that Tinkerbell, the mother, shared with her other son, Tuvia. The small, weak newborn was trying to cling to his 13-year-old mother’s belly but was instead being dragged behind.
The zookeepers say they watched the mandrill and Tinkerbell attempt numerous times to connect without success. Mandrill babies must cling to the hair of the mother’s chest and be supported by her hand for the first two to three weeks of their lives, reports the Safari.
The species is considered vulnerable in the wild.
Zookeepers carefully extracted the baby from the enclosure and hurried him over to the onsite Wildlife Hospital.
Veterinarians gave him oxygen, warmed his body temperature and nursed him back to health.
The vets did not wash the mandrill for fear his mother would not accept him back.
Once the baby mandrill was stronger, the veterinarians brought him back to the night enclosure and found an irritated and disoriented Tinkerbell searching for her newborn.
The zookeepers report that within seconds of seeing what they were holding in their hands, Tinkerbell came over to them to snatch her baby back and quickly snuggled him close to her belly.
The Safari vets report that within 24 hours they observed Tinkerbell breastfeeding her baby son.