Local Company Outfits Zoo’s Gorilla Surrogate Moms

Posted March 14, 2013

Fabulous-Furs Makes Custom Faux Fur Vests for Cincinnati Zoo

CINCINNATI – (March 14, 2013) The Cincinnati Zoo has partnered with the local company, Donna Salyers’ Fabulous-Furs, to outfit its human gorilla surrogate team with realistic faux fur vests and coats.  Surrogates will be wearing these vests while holding and attending to the Zoo’s new baby gorilla, “Gladys.”

“Helping animals is at the heart of everything we do at Fabulous-Furs and we’re long-time supporters of the Cincinnati Zoo’s animal conservation efforts,” said Donna Salyers, President of Fabulous-Furs. “Fabulous-Furs is known for the world’s finest faux furs and believing one of our fabrics might help make baby Gladys’ life easier made helping an easy decision.  Now, as we share Gladys’ story with our kids and grandkids, their enthusiasm makes it even more meaningful.  We’re absolutely thrilled to contribute.”  

Even before Gladys’ arrival, Zoo volunteers stepped up to create vests for surrogates to wear.  Once Fabulous-Furs heard about the Zoo’s unique wardrobe needs they too offered to help.  Fabulous-Furs allowed the surrogates to choose the faux “fur” material and give detailed specifications that would allow them to create functional, furry, gorilla-like outerwear.   Now when the surrogates are caring for Gladys, she will be holding on to the most realistic faux fur available. 

“Vests are incredibly important to Gladys’ gorilla-fication. The day a baby gorilla is born they can pretty much hold on to mom without any support.  So we need to give Gladys the same opportunity as we’re doing her surrogacy ourselves until she goes in with a gorilla,” said Ron Evans Primate Team Leader at the Cincinnati Zoo. “ It’s very important that Gladys has some good hand holds and when she’s on these vests she sticks to them like velcro. She’s very comfortable on them and feels much more secure in her ability to hang on like a gorilla should. We are extremely grateful to Donna Salyers and her entire team.”