Guests can learn more about the Zoo's new gorillas and conservation efforts through exclusive social media as well as during World Gorilla Day
As the inaugural World Gorilla Day on September 24 approaches, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is pleased to announce the arrival of two new female gorillas to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo who will be visible to the public in the coming weeks. "Fredrika" (or Freddy) is a 43-year-old female received from Zoo Miami in Miami, Florida and "Kebi Moya" (or Kebi) is a 26-year-old female who comes to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Powell, Ohio. Both females join the Zoo's long-term resident "Mokolo," a 30-year-old male silverback gorilla.
The two incoming female gorillas were selected to create this troop based on an examination of their social experience and behavioral characteristics. The intentional social structure of multiple females and a single adult male mirrors gorilla social groups in the wild. The gorillas are in the final stages of a structured introduction process to ensure the success of the new social group. Fredrika and Kebi Moya were first introduced to each other and cultivated a bond over several weeks before being introduced to Mokolo. The group continues to successfully bond as they establish their social structure and will soon be visible in their habitat for public to meet.
Click here for downloadable video footage of the three gorillas:
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Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is a leader in gorilla population management and husbandry, leading innovative science and research initiatives. Notably, the zoo hosts the Gorilla Species Survival Plan, which manages 350 gorillas in 48 zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and current Zoo staff members have published more than 40 scientific articles on gorillas. The team has managed Mokolo's heart disease since it was diagnosed in 2008 through a strict diet and by training Mokolo to actively participate in his own health care monitoring, including regular ultrasounds.
Prior to public introduction, exclusive content, updates and behind-the-scenes footage will be shared on Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's Facebook page. This will include a weekly Facebook LIVE segment, #FutureForGorillas, with various zoo experts. Viewers will be able to tune in and join the conversation Thursdays at noon.
Additionally, on Sunday, September 24th visitors to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo are invited to learn more about the species and celebrate World Gorilla Day at the Zoo's Stillwater Place. Activities will include talks from our gorilla keepers and researchers, crafts and games, opportunities to take action for gorilla conservation and a video introduction to the Zoo's new female gorillas.
"World Gorilla Day creates the opportunity for people all over the world to come together in celebrating gorillas, and more importantly, to take action to protect gorillas in the wild," said Kristen E. Lukas, Ph.D. the Zoo's Director of Conservation & Science and Chair for the AZA Gorilla Species Survival Plan. "We look forward to introducing our two newest gorillas to our community in the coming weeks and working alongside guests to secure a future for their counterparts in the wild."
Gorillas are critically endangered and fewer than 4,500 Eastern gorillas remain in the world. Wild gorilla populations are severely affected by human activity including hunting and the destruction of their habitat to mining and agriculture.
The inaugural year for World Gorilla Day also marks the fiftieth anniversary of Karisoke Research Center, operated by The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (DFGFI). Established by Dian Fossey, Karisoke is the longest running gorilla field study site dedicated to the conservation, protection and study of gorillas and their habitats in Africa. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo works closely with The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International through financial support and by working directly to train Rwandan students and scientists in conservation science.
Guests unable to attend World Gorilla Day can still join efforts to secure a future for gorillas by:
CLEVELAND METROPARKS ZOO
- Contributing to the Zoo's gorilla conservation efforts by rounding up your purchase at the Zoo gift shops, voting for gorillas at the Quarters for Conservation kiosk, or making a donation online at futureforwildlife.org/take-action.
- Visit futureforwildlife.org to learn more and join our conservation community.
Since 1995, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has contributed more than $6 million to wildlife conservation efforts in partnership with Cleveland Zoological Society. Each year the Zoo contributes more than $600,000 annually to conservation programs, the vast majority come from community donations. While visiting Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, guests can take action to secure a future for wildlife. Visitors can donate through 'Quarters for Conservation,' 'round-up' for conservation programs at Zoo retail locations and donate to the Zoo's Wildlife Conservation Fund. To learn more or join our conservation community, visit futureforwildlife.org
Cleveland Metroparks Media Contact:
External Communications Coordinator Jeffrey Tolman
Chief Marketing Officer Kelly Manderfield