From problem child to model mother

In Burgers' Zoo in Arnhem, Netherlands, Makoua has given birth. This is good news in itself, but the fact that she is taking good care of her baby is even better. Makoua did not have an easy go of it while young, and slowly but surely she is learning to behave like a true gorilla.
Makoua, a western lowland gorilla, was born nine years ago in Zoo Berlin. Because her mother failed to nurse her well, she was reared by hand. The coordinator of the European breeding programme advised that the gorilla toddler be moved to Stuttgart, where she lived in a group of young gorillas with a history of problems.

When Makoua was four years of age, she arrived in the gorilla group at Burgers’ Zoo. She knew almost nothing of her fellow gorillas’ natural behaviour, and she had to be introduced to this group in stages. At first, she often kept to herself. Her first contact with Bauwi ended surprisingly for him: little Makoua gave the 200 kg silverback a smack. In the meantime, the now nine-year-old Makoua is behaving more like a true gorilla. She has learned well by watching the other gorilla females interact with their offspring, and now she is a model mother to her own baby – which clearly pleases her caretakers.