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Gorilla Ndume’s return to Cincinnati Zoo delayed

June 6, 2019
FILE - In this 2016 file photo provided by the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, the silverback gorilla Ndume picks up a toy at The Gorilla Foundation's preserve in California's Santa Cruz mountains. Documents in federal court in San Francisco show that The Gorilla Foundation balked at a June 4, 2019 return requested by the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, saying Ndume has a bacterial infection that could worsen during a stressful move. (Ron Evans/Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden via AP, File)
FILE - In this 2016 file photo provided by the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, the silverback gorilla Ndume picks up a toy at The Gorilla Foundation's preserve in California's Santa Cruz mountains. Documents in federal court in San Francisco show that The Gorilla Foundation balked at a June 4, 2019 return requested by the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, saying Ndume has a bacterial infection that could worsen during a stressful move. (Ron Evans/Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden via AP, File)

CINCINNATI (AP) — An Ohio zoo’s effort to get a male silverback gorilla back from a California group it loaned him to in 1991 is on hold for the moment.

Documents in federal court in San Francisco show that The Gorilla Foundation balked at a June 4 return requested by the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, saying Ndume (nnn-DOO’-may) has a bacterial infection that could worsen during a stressful move.

U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg urged the two sides in an order Wednesday to agree on a date, but reminded the California group that his decision that Ndume be returned has already been made and should be done no later than June 30.

Ndume was loaned as a companion to Koko, the gorilla famed for learning sign language who died last year.

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