A new gorilla is joining the troop at Audubon Zoo.
Audubon Zoo welcomes the arrival of a female Western lowland gorilla from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo—the first step in an ongoing effort to establish a new gorilla troop that animal care professionals hope will bolster the sustainability of the critically endangered species.
Tumani, a 10-year-old female, joins Praline, a female who is the last gorilla born at Audubon Zoo 21 years ago. Tumani, which means “hope’’ in Swahili, and Praline soon will be joined by another female gorilla and later, a new male.
The new Audubon troop may not be visible to the public view for a time as the gorillas engage in a structured introduction process to ensure that they bond socially. Zoo staffers emphasize that this is an important step toward ensuring that the new group is a cohesive unit. Audubon staff plans to have the new troop—Praline, Tumani and the two new gorillas—in place by early 2018. The structure of multiple females and a single adult male mirrors gorilla social groups in the wild.
Like all great apes, gorillas are in danger of extinction due to habitat loss from unsustainable agricultural and mining practices. The Western lowland gorilla is critically endangered, with an estimated population of 100,000.
We hope the plight of gorillas inspires our guests to make simple changes in their lives. For example, by recycling your electronics, you can reduce the demand for coltan, a mineral that is mined in the habitats of gorillas and other critically endangered species. Small steps like this can make a big difference.