A year ago Kibali, an adolescent male gorilla, arrived at Taronga Zoo from France. He was shy, and still had a lot of growing up to do. A year on, Kibali is now 12 years old and keepers are seeing lots of changes in this magnificent gorilla.
Kibali has grown and filled out in statue and showing some typical silverback, or dominant male, behaviours. We have seen lots of physical changes, his face has matured and filled out, with the crest on top of his head starting to get taller.
At 12, Kibali's silver colouring is really starting to become evident on his back, with his shoulders becoming broader and his arms thickening. He is turning into a lovely looking silverback. At this stage he is still not sexually mature and it will be another few years before he reaches full silverback status. At the moment Kibali is with one young female gorilla, Kimya, who is the daughter of our current reigning silverback, Kibabu. The future for both of these young gorillas looks promising as they will be the start of the next generation for our successful breeding program and continue as ambassadors for their species.
Gorilla Keeper, Lisa