CINCINNATI, OH (July 24, 2023) – The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is excited to announce the addition of three new bachelor gorillas. Chipua (Chip), Pendeka (Pende) and Kongo arrived at the Cincinnati Zoo from the Detroit Zoo earlier this month. This move facilitates the Species Survival Plan (SSP) goals for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) gorilla population, which includes all gorillas housed in US facilities accredited by AZA.
“We are excited to house this bachelor troop, as it is the first time the Cincinnati Zoo has housed this type of troop structure in its long history of caring for gorillas!” said Victoria McGee, Zoological Manager of Primates. “We look forward to sharing this experience with our Zoo members and guests.”
Bachelor troops serve an important purpose, existing in native habitat regions throughout Central Africa and other AZA facilities. Compared to family troops, bachelors have different social dynamics. Aggression is an important behavior in these troops; sometimes this looks like displacement between two individuals, vocal conflict, or a physical altercation. While these events may look concerning to people, they serve an important purpose in gorilla society. Aggression helps to establish and maintain a hierarchy, teaching all the gorillas in the troop how to appropriately interact with each other and navigate their dynamic social structure.
There are about 765 gorillas in zoos worldwide, including approximately 360 that are managed by the Gorilla SSP. Western lowland gorillas are critically endangered in the wild, with fewer than 175,000 individuals.
The Cincinnati Zoo supports wild gorilla conservation efforts like the Nouabalé-Ndoki Project in the Republic of Congo. This project includes the Mbeli Bai Study, the longest running research being done with wild western lowland gorillas. Through research, local education programs, publications and documentaries, the Mbeli Bai Study and other gorilla related efforts there are raising international awareness for gorillas and their struggle for survival.
Visitors can see the new bachelors now at Gorilla World. The Zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Members enjoy early entry starting at 9 a.m. DID YOU KNOW…. You pay $10 less per ticket on select days, when you purchase tickets online! That’s a $40 savings for a family of 4!