Since part of our family group of gorillas left Taronga Zoo a month ago there has been alot of work going on in the main gorilla exhibit. The exhibit has been closed while it is being renovated, ready for Kibali, our new up and coming silverback male, and his new females in the future. The inside area has had a nice new coat of paint and the exhibit itself has had lots of pruning, new grass and mulch laid, along with new ropes for climbing. The exhibit will still be closed for a few more weeks while final touches are done to make it complete.
In the meantime the primate team are happy and excited to welcome back Mbeli to Taronga zoo. Mbeli left Taronga three years ago to join Melbourne's gorilla group, and is the daughter of our former silverback Kibabu and his favourite female Mouila. Mbeli who is now 10 years of age and has taken the journey with another gorilla called Johari, who was born at Melbourne Zoo. Johari is 13 years old and has spent her life at Melbourne Zoo. Both girls will eventually be introduced to Kibali and will play their part in the regional breeding program for Western Lowland Gorillas. The two girls will spend time together in the gorilla house getting used to their new surroundings before introductions will start with Kibali in the coming weeks.
For now Kibali and his former female house mate Kimya are still on display in the exhibit to the right of the main exhibit. It will be a few more weeks before all of the gorillas will be out in the new renovated gorilla exhibit so stay tuned for updates.
Primate Keeper, Lisa