Baby zoo sweeps away Rapid fever

17-month-old gorilla Kaius being fed at Mogo Wildlife Park by director Chad Staples who hand-raised the primate. Picture: Jonathan Ng

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Step aside Taylor Swift, Australia has a new celebrity who is stealing everyone’s hearts.

Swift famously put Sydney Zoo in the spotlight during her recent stay, but now it’s Mogo Zoo’s newest attraction, baby gorilla Kaius, grabbing all the headlines.

Thousands of eager fans have come through the gates in recent months just to get a glimpse, some visitors even shedding a few tears at the sight of the 17 month old primate.

The cute gorilla has made his mark at Mogo Zoo on the NSW south coast, since moving in with the other gorillas in August last year.

Kaius has captured hearts since moving in with the other gorillas. Picture: Richard DobsonKaius has captured hearts since moving in with the other gorillas. Picture: Richard DobsonZookeeper Chad Staples hand-raised the little gorilla after a traumatic birth where local doctors and vets were called in to care for him.

Little Kaius became sick with sepsis pneumonia when he was born and his mother was not able to care for him because of her own medical complications.

Kaius has since moved in with his Aunty G-Anne and lives with her full time.

“He has really adapted well and does not leave her side,” Mr Staples said.

“The only time they are ever separated is when they have different dietary requirements, apart from that they are inseparable.”

The little gorilla plays with a pot …The little gorilla plays with a pot …… Or is it a helmet? Pictures: Richard Dobson… Or is it a helmet? Pictures: Richard DobsonMr Staples still tries to stay close to Kaius, feeding him from the bottle as needed.

It took some time for Kaius to get to know his gorilla family after being raised by a human.

The baby gorilla slept in the room next to his aunt and had lots of “mesh-to-mesh contact” before zookeepers moved them in together.

Now Kaius has developed relationships with his grandmother, mother and father, with his dad teaching him some typical gorilla movement.

Kaius spent months bonding with his aunt through the mesh before being given to her as an adopted son. Picture: Tim HunterKaius spent months bonding with his aunt through the mesh before being given to her as an adopted son. Picture: Tim Hunter“Kaius follows his dad around all the time,” Mr Staples said.

“He mimics his dad, in the way he walks around, beats his chest and interacts; it’s great to see because he is a tenth of the size of his senior.”

Kaius has become a household name since his birth, first becoming famous on social media. But even zoo staff have been amazed by the number of visitors lining up to catch a glimpse of the star since he was moved into the gorilla display.

Taylor Swift and her boyfriend Travis Kelce caused a media frenzy when visiting Sydney Zoo during her recent Eras tour. Picture: 9NewsTaylor Swift and her boyfriend Travis Kelce caused a media frenzy when visiting Sydney Zoo during her recent Eras tour. Picture: 9NewsZoo workers have been told that some visitors have even taken days off work to come and see the new sensation.

“We have heard all types of reports since his arrival, people taking sickies, days off work, travelling, all just to see little Kaius … He’s somewhat of a superstar,” Mr Staples said.

“He was a huge attraction before he was even out on display, but we could have never imagined how many people would be interested in our little gorilla.”



  • primate: the group of mammals that monkeys, gorillas, chimpanzees and humans belong to
  • sepsis pneumonia: when the immune system starts attacking the body’s tissues in response to a lung infection, pneumonia
  • inseparable: unable to be apart from one another
  • traumatic: very difficult and distressing and/ or leading to injury

1. What happened to Kaius when he was born?
2. Who raised Kaius?
3. How did the zookeepers get Kaius to bond with his aunt?
4. When did Kaius move in with the other gorillas?
5. What skills has Kaius learnt from his dad?



1. Keeper talk
Sometimes when you visit a zoo or wildlife park, there are set times when keepers will be present at the enclosures to tell visitors about the animals. Imagine that you are a keeper at Mogo Zoo. Write down what you would say in your presentation to tell visitors about the gorillas on display.

Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English

2. Extension
Now imagine that you are a visitor. What are three open questions you might ask the keeper about the gorillas?

Time: allow 10 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English

Imaginative dialogue
Imagine you were there during the event being discussed in the article, or for the interview.

Create a conversation between two characters from the article – you may need or want to include yourself as one of the characters. Don’t forget to try to use facts and details from the article to help make your dialogue as realistic as possible.

Go through your writing and highlight any punctuation you have used in green. Make sure you carefully check the punctuation used for the dialogue and ensure you have opened and closed the speaking in the correct places.

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