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MEET THE GORILLAS

The Louisville Zoo’s Gorilla Forest is home to:

 

BENGATI

Bengati, a blackback born at Lincoln Park Zoo in 1998, arrived at Louisville Zoo in 2002. Bengati currently resides with three other blackbacks, Jelani, Kicho and Cecil. He shares his father’s looks, but some physical traits of his great grandmother Helen can be seen in him as well.

(photo courtesy of Louisville Zoo)

 

CECIL

Cecil, a blackback born at Cincinnati Zoo in 1998 arrived at Louisville Zoo in 2004. He and Kicho share several relatives, including the same father. Cecil is the youngest member of the all-male group of four backbacks. His lack of size and young age is compensated for by his intelligence and savvy social skills.

(photo by Kim Raymond)

 

 

 

DEMBA

Demba was born at Dallas Zoo in 1970. She moved to Philadelphia Zoo in 1999, then to Louisville Zoo in 2006. She commonly carries blankets made of cut material given to her by care staff and often “talks” to her keepers by directing contentment vocalizations toward them. She currently lives with Helen.

(Photo courtesy of Louisville Zoo)

 

 

 

HELEN

Helen was born in the wild in 1958, then lived at Lincoln Park Zoo until her arrival at Louisville Zoo in 2002. Helen’s hair has grayed, and she has a highly wrinkled face and grizzled sideburns. She prefers her alone time, but tolerates social living with Demba.

(photo by Kim Raymond)

 

 

 

JELANI

Jelani, a blackback born at Lincoln Park Zoo in 1997, arrived at Louisville Zoo in 2002. Jelani currently resides with three other blackbacks, Bengati, Kicho and Cecil. He is a laid-back individual, but enjoys rough play and daring antics at times. He enjoys the company of all of the blackbacks of the group, and he can often be seen playfully chestbeating with one hand when interacting with other group members.

(photo by Kim Raymond)

 

KICHO

Kicho, a blackback born at Cincinnati Zoo in 1997, arrived at Louisville Zoo in 2004. He and Cecil share several relatives, including the same father. Kicho is the stockiest of the four blackbacks in the bachelor group, and can also be easily recognized by his protruding upper left canine tooth and his wall-eyes. He enjoys rough play with the blackbacks of the group, as well as playing alone. He often enjoys splashing around in one of the outdoor pools, and he also can often be found climbing the exhibits’ trees.

(photo by Roby Elsner)

 

 

 

KWELI

Kweli was born at Cincinnati Zoo in 1983 and arrived in Louisville in April of 2008. She is mother to Kicho (Louisville Zoo) and also has offspring at Pittsburgh Zoo and Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo. She was an excellent mother as well as a high-ranking and well-socialized female at Cincinnati. She lives in a group with Mia Moja, Paki and Mshindi.

(photo by Kara Bussabarger, Louisville Zoo)

 

 

MIA MOJA

Mia Moja was born at Zoo Atlanta in 1989 and arrived at Louisville Zoo in 2004. She is the smallest member of her group which includes Mshindi, Kweli and Paki. Mia Moja often dons scarves made of cut material that care staff gives her.

(photo courtesy of Jodi Kissinger, Zoo Atlanta)

 

 

 

MSHINDI

Mshindi was born at St Louis Zoo in 1987 and arrived in Louisville in 2005. He is half-brother to Lincoln Park Zoo silverback JoJo, who also lived in here and was very popular with Louisville Zoo visitors from 2002 until his return to Chicago in 2004. His group consists of Mia, Kweli and Paki.

(photo courtesy of Saint Louis Zoo, Carol Weerts photographer)

 

 

PAKI

Paki was born at Bronx Zoo in 1989. She arrived at Louisville Zoo in 2004 with Timmy and she currently lives with Mshindi, Mia Moja and Kweli. Paki prefers the company of Timmy but enjoys interaction with both visitors at the glass and care staff. Paki is often seen sucking her finger and standing upright

(photo by Roby Elsner)

 

 

 

Please note, to promote activity levels similar to those of gorillas in the wild, all gorillas will be encouraged to rotate through the various habitat areas at different times each day. Therefore it is impossible to predict in advance which gorillas will be on display at a specific time.

These photos are copyrighted and can not be used without permission of the photographer.