Gorilla rejected by mother celebrates first birthday

Gorilla Rejected by Mother Celebrates First Birthday
Gorilla Rejected by Mother Celebrates First Birthday

A very special gorilla named Gladys is celebrating her first birthday, and she even had her own cake. (Pureed sweet potatoes covered with fruit and raisins.)

Gladys made news headlines last year after being rejected by her mother at a zoo in Brownsville, Texas.

At just four weeks old she was sent to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. The zoo was chosen because it had two full-grown gorilla females who could eventually act as a surrogate mother for baby Gladys.

Fearing Gladys could possibly be rejected again by another mother, zookeepers in Cincinnati worked hard to "gorilla-fy" her before introducing her to the other gorillas.

After a few months, zookeepers decided it was time for Gladys to be introduced to her new surrogate mother: a 30-year-old gorilla named M'linzi (Ma-lindsey). As you can see from the zoo's YouTube video, they got along pretty well.

Since then, Gladys has been introduced to three other gorillas and they've all become fast friends.

A senior primate keeper told the Cincinnati Enquirer that she's thriving, happy and 'loves being with the girls.'

We hope Gladys has a great birthday and saved some of that cake for her new friends.