Contact the Gorilla Species Survival Plan®


The care of gorillas is never easy, as they are complex and intelligent creatures. The challenge is to provide a safe and enriching physical habitat while maintaining complex social groupings. It's no easy feat but it's one that zoos and the SSP face every day.



O.J. and Bwang, G.g. gorilla,
San Francisco Zoo
(photo by Rick Murphy)




How are welfare standards
generated? Learn more about
gorilla research.




Bebac, G.g. gorilla
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
(photo by Grace Fuller)


Care of gorillas

The gorillas living in accredited zoos across North America are our primary charges. The SSP® helps individual zoos keep informed with the latest techniques and management strategies for housing gorillas to optimize their well-being.

Welfare Standards

The Standardized Guidelines project is a collaborative effort between the TAGs, SSPs, AZA Animal Welfare Committee, and individual AZA members to create guidelines for
animal care for all vertebrates in AZA collections. These guidelines will combine
up-to-date scientific information and years of animal care expertise in an easy-to-use template that identifies the biological and physical needs of the animals.
The Standardized Guidelines will also contain current TAG recommendations.

Kali and Taz, G.g. gorilla,
Zoo Atlanta
(photo by Adam Thompson)

The Gorilla SSP is hard at work on the standardized guidelines for gorillas.
Soon they will be reviewed by internal and external sources and available here on the website.

Guidelines for the captive care of primates produced by the International Primatological Society can be found here.


Ensuring the welfare of geriatric animals requires special care.

Banga, G.g. gorilla, Zoo Atlanta
(photo by Jodi Carrigan)


Arthritic female ascends custom-made stairs.
Beta, G.g. gorilla, at Brookfield Zoo
(photo © Chicago Zoological Society)

Exhibit Design

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