Hand-raised gorilla Kaius reunited with primate family at Mogo Wildlife Park

Mogo Wildlife Park director Chad Staples watched on like a proud parent on the first day of school as the young gorilla he has hand-raised for 11 months was finally reintroduced to his primate family.

Mr Staples became the surrogate father of Kaius the gorilla after complications with the mother at birth at the wildlife park in south-east NSW.

Neonatal caregivers, nurses, midwives, and doctors were rushed in to save Kaius after the young gorilla developed sepsis pneumonia just hours after being born.

Kaius moved into Mr Staples' bedroom while on life support, and the pair were inseparable for the next seven months.

"It's been stressful, rewarding, amazing, it was all encompassing. He absolutely took over my life," Mr Staples said.

The wildlife director, who has previously hand-raised a young lion cub, became a fill-in parent, bottle-feeding Kaius every two hours and changing his nappies.

Mr Staples said this process was more difficult than with human toddlers because Kaius used his hands and feet to pull off the nappy.

Together they ticked off important milestones like progressing to solid food and learning to crawl, then walk, then climb.


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