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September 24, 2020

World Gorilla Day

Today is #WorldGorillaDay! Here at the Saint Louis Zoo we love our group of bachelor gorillas. We have four Western lowland gorilla males, Jontu, Joe, Nadaya and Bakari. Although large and very strong, gorillas in general are peaceful animals. Our gorilla group typically spends their day eating, foraging, using enrichment, resting, building nests to sleep in and sometimes even playing with each other! Unfortunately, gorillas in the wild are facing more hardship. Habitat destruction, poaching, and disease have really taken a toll on the population numbers. The Saint Louis Zoo has made it a mission to help the conservation of gorillas in the wild. The Saint Louis Zoo Wildcare Institute Center for the Conservation of Congo Apes partners with the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project (GTAP). GTAP not only does great research in learning more about these wild counterparts, but also makes great efforts to keep these populations safe and healthy. We can’t imagine a world without gorillas and hope you feel the same! To learn more visit stlzoo.org/conservation/wildcare-institute/center-for-the-conservation-of-congo-apes. Please consider recycling your old electronics including cell phones, tablets and mp3 players at our North and South welcome desks. This helps reduce the demand for minerals that come from gorillas’ wild habitats that are used in these devices. 

Photo 1: Jontu (23) - Jontu and the other gorillas each eat around 20 pounds of leafy greens every day. They also get veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds, browse and primate chow. They have a very healthy diet!

Photo 2: Joe (22) – Joe is really smart and a great tool user. Joe and the other gorillas will find sticks to use to help them pull food out of a tricky enrichment feeder.

Photo 3: Nadaya (19) – Nadaya loves to eat browse that our Animal Nutrition Team and Horticulture team bring for the gorillas. The gorillas love mulberry and ash! They have powerful jaws to help chew through these plants 

Photo 4: Bakari (15) – Bakari is an excellent nest builder! Gorillas build nests to sleep in each night. Our gorillas use wood wool, alfalfa, butcher paper, cardboard boxes and sometimes even other enrichment items to build their nests.