Young gorilla shunned by mother ready to switch zoos

A baby gorilla that was raised by humans wearing hairy vests is ready to be placed with other gorilla and will move from the Cincinnati Zoo to the Columbus Zoo.

The female gorilla, Kamina, was born at a zoo in Oklahoma City, but was shunned by her mother. She was brought to Cincinnati in September where the keepers taught her to act like a gorilla and then placed her with two female gorillas.

When they didn't bond with her, keepers decided Kamina's best option was moving to Columbus. The Cincinnati Zoo's curator of primates says the rejection was surprising but such introductions are delicate and don't always work out.

"Kamina has learned all of the behaviors she needs to know in order to be successful in a gorilla group," Ron Evans, primates curator, said in a statement. "Unfortunately, neither of the adult females that we hoped would bond with her did."

When Kamina arrived at the Cincinnat Zoo, 17 volunteers took turns holding the baby around the clock and taught her how to be a gorilla.

Volunteers wore hairy vests to give Kamina something to cling too, bottle-fed her and crawled on their hands and knees so Kamina could practice abdominal and back riding. They used low grunting sounds to soothe her and coughing sounds to discourage behaviors.

A previous surrogacy at Cincinnati worked out a little better, with keepers successfully raising "Gladys," a gorilla baby that came to Cincinnati in February 2013 from Brownsville, Texas, and was eventually incorporated into the zoo's gorilla troop.

Columbus also has a long history of caring for gorillas. The first gorilla born in captivity, Colo, was born at the Columbus Zoo and celebrated her 58th birthday earlier this week.

The Associated Press contributed to this report