By Rosemary Regina Sobol
5:49 AM CDT, August 22, 2013
Baby gorilla Nayembi will appear in a public viewing area of the Lincoln Park Zoo today for the first time since suffering a severe facial injury last winter.
“It’s really exciting,’’ said Lincoln Park Zoo spokeswoman Sharon Dewar.
She said Nayembi has made it past several stages of rehabilitation since the injury in February and “we’re ready for the next step.’’
Nayembi (pronounced nay-em-bee) was reintroduced to her father Kwan on Wednesday. “It seems to be going fine today with her father,’’ Dewar said.
She was reunited with her mother Rollie about a month ago, along with others, including another baby gorilla, Patty, who is a month older than Nayembi, Dewar said.
Rollie, 16 years old, gave birth to Nayembi last November. Everything seemed fine until the infant suffered a severe facial cut while momentarily out of view, zoo officials said. Nayembi was rushed to emergency surgery and was placed under the round-the-clock care.
Authorities never determined the cause of her injury. No one saw it happen and it occurred in an area that cameras near the exhibit were not able to capture, Dewar said.
Her recovery was a “delicate and careful process,’’ Dewar said. “But we feel today quite comfortable’’ that she is ready for the public.
Visitors may see Nayembi beginning 1 p.m. today at the Regenstein Center for African Apes at Cannon Drive and Fullerton Parkway.
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