A Gorilla Goodbye

A fond farewell to female gorilla Kowali, who moved yesterday to a new home at Knoxville Zoo! She’s joining a gorilla group there through a recommendation from the Gorilla Species Survival Plan®, a shared management effort by zoos throughout North America.

Born at Lincoln Park Zoo in 1978, Kowali was the daughter of Kumba (the first gorilla born at Lincoln Park Zoo) and Frank. She’s also the mom of current residents Rollie and bachelor male Amare.

Kowali will be missed at Regenstein Center for African Apes, but this move, like all SSP planning, is based on what’s best for this endangered population. We know our partners at Knoxville Zoo will give her the best in care.


So, it's a good idea to take her from her family, everything she has know, and ship her off? Sounds heartless to me. How would you like to wake up one day and find your mom gone?

The move is certainly a change, but animal care experts on both sides of the move spend a lot of time preparing the animals and making sure they are comfortable. The transition is handled very carefully, and population planners always aim to minimize disruption as they promote what's best for the population.

President and CEO Kevin Bell discussed how we prepare for these moves when we said goodbye to JoJo, Tabibu and Makari last year. http://www.lpzoo.org/blog/posts-president/getting-ready-say-goodbye

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