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Thread: Some lessons from the animal world...

  1. #1

    Default Some lessons from the animal world...

    I was watching a video with my DD called 'Zoo Babies' (she loves it, has watched it so many times!) the other day and one of the babies was a gorilla's little one.

    It showed the birth experience and how the mother gorilla brought her little son up to her breast and tenderly cuddled and fed it right after his birth. She spent about five hours on her own with her new baby before venturing out to introduce him to the rest of the clan. Her elder daughters were very interested in watching her bf her new baby and they mentioned how one was quite put out because she wasn't allowed to feed any more. Other female gorillas were also watching her fascinated with both the baby and the feeding. The staff were very careful not to bother the gorillas during the critical first few days and obviously no one handled the baby. The mother certainly wouldn't give her baby to another gorilla and fed it constantly.

    Unfortunately the little baby gorilla died and again the staff all closed the gorillas off to the public and allowed the mother to come to terms with her loss in her own time. After two days of carrying her baby around and feeding it she finally put it down and they could remove it. The family grieved together. The death was not due to any attributable cause.

    It struck me throughout the documentary how much importance was given to the animal mother bonding with her baby and how vital it was that the baby receive it's mother's milk. And also how the mother was given the space to deal with the loss in her own time and way, without intervening.

    When one of the chimps (weakened from loss of blood after the birth) needed medical help, they were careful to make the interruption with her baby (unfortunately she had given birth to twins but one had died after being attacked, hence the need to intervene) as short as possible and position her for feeding straight away. When she didn't seem to be getting it they brought in a human bfing mother for the chimp to watch and learn! And she did.

    It made so much sense to me that birth and caring for a baby was left to the mum and her family unless there was a drastic need for intervention. There were a few babies that needed some supplement close to birth but getting them back to their mums and feeding was of paramount importance to the staff.

    Seems to me some of the animals in our zoo get more support and natural assistance with their babies than we give some of our mums. Perhaps some of our maternity hospitals could get something from the vets!
    Last edited by Jennifer13; October 17th, 2007 at 01:51 PM. Reason: spelling mistake, and I can't bear to leave it!

  2. #2
    rolymogs Guest


    Last edited by rolymogs; March 20th, 2008 at 01:22 PM.

  3. #3
    mum2three Guest


    you have to laugh... the staff left the mother alone?? that does not represent any of my hospital experiences!!! LOL although by the third baby I myself was like a gorilla and the younger girls left me alone LOL

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