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Gorillas in the news


February 9, 2011
Rare Gorilla Twins Born in the Wild

Twin mountain gorillas have been born at Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. The male twins represent an important gain for this endangered species and mark only the fifth recorded birth of gorilla twins in Rwanda.
Read more from the BBC News.

(photo by the Gorilla Organization via BBC News)

Zoo Atlanta houses the only mother-reared gorilla twins in captivity. The twins, Kali and Kazi, turned five years old last October. Read more from Zoo and Aquarium Visitor.

(2007 photo courtesy of Zoo Atlanta)


August 23, 2010
Zoo Atlanta Awarded Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services
Funding demonstrates historic show of support for great ape veterinary care.

Zoo Atlanta has received a prestigious grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to lead a multi-institutional effort to examine heart disease in great apes. The $92,000 grant represents an historic show of support for an area of ape health care that has until now been poorly understood by veterinarians.

Identified as a leading cause of death in great apes living in zoological settings, cardiovascular disease (CVD) requires advanced understanding of diagnosing, treating and monitoring affected individuals, as well as adapting techniques already in use for treatment of heart disease in humans and domestic animals. Under the leadership of Hayley Murphy, DVM, Director of Veterinary Services, the Zoo Atlanta Veterinary Team will use the one-year grant to design an innovative national program for investigating ape CVD and establishing state-of-the-art diagnostics, treatment and prevention. Partnership institutions include The University of Georgia, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, and more than 15 additional zoos and universities.

(photo courtesy of Zoo Atlanta)
"We are pleased and proud that IMLS saw the merit in a project that will have a positive impact on great apes in zoological collections throughout the world," said Raymond King, President and CEO. "This is an important step forward that will allow experts from around the country to share knowledge and build on their individual strengths."

Zoo Atlanta is a likely candidate for leadership in a great ape heart health initiative. The organization houses the nation's largest collection of western lowland gorillas, with 23 individuals, as well as the largest zoological collection of orangutans in the U.S., currently with 11 individuals. Four of the Zoo's great apes are over the age of 45.

"National Leadership Collaborative Planning Grants provide opportunities to conduct research and develop the framework to support future projects that have the potential to generate new tools, research, models, services, practices, or alliances that will positively impact museums, libraries, and the communities they serve. These projects encourage partnerships that address national issues of importance impacting education, scholarship, and public service and encourage the broad application of standards and models to improve professional practice," said IMLS Acting Director Marsha L. Semmel.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, visit


February 10, 2010
Census of Gorillas to Begin in March
Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda are cooperating to complete a full census of mountain gorilla populations in the Virunga Volcanoes and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Read the full story at

July 29, 2009
Last Chance for the Gorilla
The Year of the Gorilla prompts a re-analysis of gorilla conservation strategies in Africa.
Read more in the New Scientist...and Learn what YOU can do to help save gorillas.

March 6, 2009
And Frank makes Five...
Gorilla baby joins family on exhibit at the San Diego Zoo.

A western lowland gorilla born Sept. 4, 2008 at the San Diego Zoo holds onto the back of 14-year-old Ndjia in the Gorilla Tropics exhibit Friday. Friday marked his first time on exhibit with his family. The young gorilla, named Frank, is the fifth member of the Zoo's gorilla troop lead by a silverback named Paul Donn. The other members of the troop are Frank's mother, 12-year-old Azizi and a 13-year-old female, Imani. Gorillas are peaceful, family-oriented animals and all of the members of the troop take responsibility for caring and raising Frank.

Frank weighs more than 13 pounds, but zoo keepers expect that he'll grow to be more than 400 pounds. His father, Paul Donn, weighs 450 pounds. Gorillas usually grow to their full size by the time they are 15 years old. They are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and 2009 was declared the Year of the Gorilla by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, United Nations Environmental Programme and other organizations working toward conserving the gorilla population. The San Diego Zoo is home to 13 western lowland gorillas.

Frank and Ndjia, G.g. gorilla, San Diego Zoo
(photo by Ken Bohn, © San Diego Zoo)

March 2, 2009
Gorilla Conservation Update: Mbeli Bai Annual Report
Researchers with the Wildlife Conservation Society's Mbeli Bai Study have been monitoring western gorillas in the Republic of Congo since 1995. The project's annual report highlights their critical efforts in learn more about and protect wild gorillas. For more information about the project, visit the WCS-Congo website.

January 17, 2009
Timmy turns Fifty!
The Louisville Zoo wishes a happy birthday to North America's oldest male gorilla.

Paki explores Timmy's birthday "cake"
(photo by Kara Bussabarger)

Timmy on his birthday
(photo by Michele Long)

January 5, 2009
Zoo Takes a Lead in Gorilla Rearing
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is a leader in hand-raising and surrogacy programs for gorillas.
Read more from the Columbus Local News...

October 15, 2008
Gorilla Intelligence Revealed
Research at Lincoln Park Zoo reveals gorilla cognitive abilities. Read more from the Chicago Tribune...

September 8, 2008
Good-bye to Jenny
The world's oldest captive gorilla dies at the Dallas Zoo. Read more from the Dallas Morning News...

August 28, 2008
Abuse of Apes in Films
A new PETA documentary exposes abusive training practices used on ape actors.
Read more from the Los Angeles Times...

August 5, 2008
Good News for Great Apes

New census data from Republic of Congo dramatically
increases population estimates for critically endangered Western lowland gorillas. Read more from the Wildlife Conservation Society...



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