Warren Y & Williamson EA (2004) Transport of dead infant mountain gorillas by mothers and unrelated females. Zoo Biology, 23 (4), pp. 375-378. https://doi.org/10.1002/zoo.20001
This report describes prolonged carriage of the corpses of two mountain gorilla infants by both related and unrelated adult females. Two hypotheses regarding this transport are considered: 1) that maternal behavior toward unrelated infants may be a by-product of the hormonal condition of pregnancy, and 2) that the animals may be ‘‘learning to mother,’’ as nulliparous females could benefit from the experience of handling an infant that is no longer alive. Some factors pertinent to the event of infant deaths in captivity are considered.
Gorilla beringei; behavior; allomothering; infant deaths; Gorilla; Social behavior in animals; Gorilla behavior; Gorilla infants
Zoo Biology: Volume 23, Issue 4
|Publication date online||28/07/2004|
|Date accepted by journal||25/07/2003|
|Publisher||Wiley-Liss / Association of Zoos and Aquariums|