Wow…that was something!
Last week I joined animal-care staff along with staff and interns from the Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes in hosting the Great Lakes Regional Gorilla Workshop here at Lincoln Park Zoo. This was the sixth workshop of its kind, providing a framework for gorilla-care staff, veterinarians and researchers to share their expertise, discuss progressive gorilla-husbandry practices, prompt innovations and provide networking opportunities.
We focused on a number of topics last week, from gorilla diets to enrichment practices, exhibit design to social groupings. Gorilla Species Survival Plan representatives updated the group on their efforts, as did members of the Gorilla Veterinary Advisory Team. Lincoln Park Zoo’s research fellow, David Morgan, Ph.D., delivered the keynote speech at the dinner, focusing on his field work as co-director of the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project. (Learn more here.)
In total, the workshop welcomed nearly 50 gorilla experts representing three universities and 15 Association of Zoos and Aquariums institutions. We also held a silent auction and raffle, which raised over $1,000 for the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project.
On a personal level, I enjoyed catching up with colleagues that I only get to see at these types of gatherings. And when the workshop wrapped up, it was satisfying to have played such an integral role in this important event, where minds met and talents pooled for a singular mission—providing optimal care for this generation of gorillas and those of the future.
Curator of Primates Maureen Leahy