The gorilla is the largest living primate. A gorilla must spend most of its day eating plants to maintain its large size. Despite its massive size and ferocious reputation, the gorilla is actually a peaceful and social animal. Gorillas and humans are close relatives, and share many things in common. They are very intelligent, have emotions and personalities, and live in family groups.
The Cincinnati Zoo is dedicated to gorilla conservation, both in the wild and in zoos. Click here to learn more about what the Cincinnati Zoo is doing for gorilla conservation.
After two years of construction, the new indoor gorilla habitat is open to the public. The floor-to-ceiling viewing glass will help the Zoo continue to inspire gorilla conservation by getting visitors #CloseEnoughToCare as they watch and engage with the Zoo’s gorillas. Keep in mind, the gorillas are still learning the ins and outs of their new dynamic complex. They may or may not be visible at all times.
Parents are Anju and Jomo. This is Anju’s first baby and the 50th gorilla born at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden since 1970.
Parents are Asha and Jomo. Mondika (Pronounced Mondeeka) is the name of an area in the Republic of Congo that habituates western lowland gorillas for up close observation, research and eco tourism. Mondika is very curious and sociable. As any baby this young Mondika is totally dependent on her mother Asha to protect her. She is at the age where everything is discovery, but is always within an arm’s reach of her mother.
Raised by surrogate humans and later introduced to surrogate gorilla moms M’Linzi and Mara. Gladys is a very well adjusted, confident and curious little gorilla. Although she still depends on her surrogate mother M’Linzi to provide her a safe home, she readily explores on her own and engages all members of her group by initiating play.
Jomo is a silverback gorilla and father to Mona and Elle. He is a super dad and also is the largest gorilla; twice as big as the adult females. The females in his group look to him for protection and leadership.
Samantha hangs out near caves, also in grassy area under tree, left of stream. Pink spot on lower lip, looks like tongue sticking out. Grayest hair of the group (she’s the oldest)
Mother of Mara and surrogate mother to Gladys. She has a large, harmless lump on her chin and a low brow that makes it look like she’s frowning. She sits up on the tree and holds her hand to her head often.
Daughter of M’Linzi and second mom to Gladys. She sits on the tree a lot and often likes to be alone. She has puffy gray sideburns, is smaller than other females with a lanky thin body.
Asha is very outgoing and moves around the entire exhibit. She has mostly dark black hair and is larger than most of the other females. Asha is very confident and a strong leader. She is socially savvy and knows how to use her high status as a mother with the silverback to get him to back her in whatever she wants. She’s an excellent mother and is very protective her baby.
Anju is shy and can be hard to spot. She has very gray course looking hair, Wrinkles on her forehead and is larger than most of the other females.
Chewie is an active gorilla who travels around the yard a lot and climbs into moat. She has lots of rings and wrinkles around her eyes and nose and lots of black hair.
As part of a multi-zoo collaborative move recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), male gorilla Mshindi [ma-shin-dee] was relocated from the Louisville Zoo to Cincinnati and is starting to make himself at home in the outdoor habitat. He will be joined eventually by females Chewie and Mara.
The Zoo supports the Mbeli Bai study located in the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo. Observations of western lowland gorillas have provided unique insights into their social organization and dynamics. Such information is important to determining the best course of action for gorilla conservation.
Meet a Gorilla Zookeeper
Meet Jomo (pictured above), our silverback. As the largest gorilla here at the Zoo, he’s quite an impressive sight.
Conduct your own investigations at the Wild Research Gorillas station to find out whether gorillas have friends, and more.
Drop off your old cell phone at the Zoo. Recycling it will reduce mining for coltan, an ore used in cell phones, in gorilla habitat and raise money for the Zoo’s Conservation Fund. Learn more about cell phone recycling and its benefits to African gorilla populations.
Make a Donation to the Cincinnati Zoo’s Conservation Fund