Science: The Gorilla & the Nurse

Knorke was 17 months old and a sick gorilla when Nurse Rosemarie Hohler first saw him. Bought by the West Berlin Zoo to replace Pongo, its prewar gorilla bayoneted to death by Russian soldiers, Knorke had been flown in from the French Cameroons, and had promptly fallen sick of paratyphoid fever. Zoo officials sent Knorke to the City Hospital, put the sad little ape in quarantine in a sealed-off room, and explained that paratyphoid, though usually only a mild human disorder, can be fatal to gorillas. Looking compassionately at Knorke, 24-year-old Rosemarie volunteered to go into quarantine with him.

The first time...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!