We’re delighted that a juvenile male gorilla named “Kibali” from France has joined our Western Lowland Gorilla group.
‘Kibali’ is an 11 year old adolescent, known as a blackback and in years to come will lead our gorilla family as a Silverback.
His arrival is part of Taronga's careful management of its breeding group which is part of global zoo efforts to protect this Critically Endangered species against extinction. With estimates that there are as few as 100,000 are left in the wild, Kibali’s selection will introduce valuable new genetics into our breeding group.
Kibali has been introduced to seven year old Taronga-born female ‘Kimya’. According to the keepers the two adolescents are a good match for each other both in terms of temperament and age.
At this age, the two would be getting ready to leave their maternal groups in search of a mate, so the introduction reflects what would naturally happen in the wild.
Taronga staff travelled to Europe last year to work with zoos to select a male with the best genetic and behavioural characteristics and according to Senior Curator, Erna, the young male Kibali was the natural choice as a future leader of our gorilla group.
Erna said, “Our gorilla family is renowned for its stability, natural behaviours and breeding successes, so we wanted a male who knew how to live in a natural family situation, from seeing females give birth and raising young to watching how another successful Silverback leads his family.
Lucky Zoo visitors over the school holidays will be able to glimpse the new gorilla member at map reference G10.
Kibali was born at a Zoo in France, La Vallee des Singes. At 11 years old he is a blackback and is a very gentle gorilla with a really calm nature.
Did you know?
- Taronga’s gorilla family originally came from Holland in 1996
- Silverback, ‘Kibabu’, has sired an impressive 14 offspring
- To maintain genetic diversity within Australasia and to provide Kibabu’s female offspring with a breeding mate, it was important to introduce an unrelated male to the group
- We’re working with the Great Ape Survival Project (GRASP), to help conserve the Cross River Gorilla of which less than 200 individuals remain in the wild
- Taronga visitors can also help struggling wild gorilla populations by recycling their old mobile phones. Find out how you can donate your old mobile here to help save gorillas here