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Baby Gorilla Dies at Miami Zoo

Written by PETA | June 29, 2011

The baby born to lowland gorilla Kumbuka at Zoo Miami on Father’s Day has died of unknown causes. The grieving mother refused to turn her infant’s body over to zookeepers, who had to immobilize her in order to retrieve the body.


When looking at a photo like the one above of Kumbuka and her baby, how could anyone believe that human beings are in a class by themselves or that there is any meaningful difference between this mother and child and a human mother and child? “Only conceit and hair separate us from the other animals,” says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk.

The deep mother-child bond is one that crosses the species barrier. How is it justifiable, then, for industries to tear families apart in order to use animals for entertainment, clothing, food, or experimentation

Don’t break a mother’s heart—help keep families together by not supporting companies that tear baby apes away from their mothers and force them to perform in commercials or circuses that steal baby elephants from their families and beat them into submission.

Written by Michelle Sherrow

Commenting is closed.
  • James says:

    Man’s interference in nature will have consequences soon at hand.

  • Bluepointgal says:

    I agree 100% with Pauline and Kathy — the LEAST this poor mother should have been given was the opportunity to LET GO ONLY WHEN SHE SAW FIT. This zoo, like all of them, absolutely repulses me.

  • Sherri says:

    What a heart breaking photo this is. It appears as a small child somewhat lacking nutrition clinging for dear life to the mother that gave birth. It’s astounding how people have different views on animals and yet not knowing what kind of compassion all animals have for their off spring regardless of what form. I am very saddened that this precious baby died for unknown causes and can only hope that the trauma the momma is feeling will pass since they had to sedate her to remove the baby. I think it would be the same for all of us. It takes all of us to fight the ones that have no voice in order to make a difference. I know I am here and see a lot of others for support as well.

  • Pauline says:

    How terrible for the mother to have to go through. Why aren’t the staff at the Zoo knowledgable enough to let the Mother stay with her baby, let her decide when to say goodbye. I am so frustrated by humans interfering with animals and how they live. Bad enough the gorilla is in a zoo to begin with. My heart goes out to her. Now she will have to deal with the pain of not having closure as a human took her baby before she was ready.

  • MeganAshley says:

    This is so sad that gorillas do this, and its even worse that it happened at a zoo. I really hope it was from natural causes. I saw a video about a gorilla who carried around her baby even when it was literally just skin and bones.

  • Rat King says:

    This is astonishingly human – indeed!

  • Stephanie says:

    This brought tears to my eyes….so heartbreaking…

  • Sina says:

    ”…how could anyone believe that human beings are in a class by themselves or that there is any meaningful difference between this mother and child and a human mother and child?” well said, well said! thats the main problem, HUMANS will never stop thinking that they’re better than animals, that their lifes worth much more than the life of an animal, its sad. thats why some peolpe got so upset about this microwave campaign, they dont want to be reminded of the cruel things happening in meat production, thats why they get mad and say its offending and crude. maybe it is but we NEED campaigns like this, they cant be intense enoguh to get people talking and start thinking and change things. i understand why people got mad and everyone has its opinion but at the end nobody can deny that this campaign sais the truth, that Everybody is Somebodys Baby, if you like it or not.

  • kathy says:

    They should have let her keep the dead body until she was ready to give it up. I saw a documentary in an Anthropology class of a gorilla mother (in the wild) who carried her dead baby with her until she was ready to let him go. It’s natural behavior for them. When she was finally ready to let the baby go, she shook him a few times to see if he would show any signs of life. They she was very distraught and she embraced the baby, laid him down and walked away. People were openly weeping in class. It was very sad. I think the zoo interrupted her grieving process by taking the baby before she was ready.

  • knowinghowshefeels says:

    This picture hits too close to home. My tears are for her, as well as, myself. Some pain never goes away and I believe it’s the same for animals. When my arms ache to hold my baby, I do a little extra hugging of my four legged “babies”. They “kiss” the tears away. In my heart, I believe they understand when we’re in pain.

  • Jamie says:

    Awe, how sad. I hope it was natural causes and nothing that someone was to blame for….what a shame. This is a beautiful picture in its own way, very haunting. Thank you for sharing with us. RIP Baby Gorilla