SALT LAKE CITY (Sept. 20) - Utah's Hogle Zoo made two exciting additions to its great ape exhibit this week as two female Western lowland gorillas have gone on exhibit at the Zoo's great ape house. JoRayK and her daughter Jabali have been in quarantine in the Zoo's L.S. Skaggs Animal Health Center since arriving from the Denver Zoo last month.
Members of the media are invited to film the two gorillas Wednesday, Sept. 21 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. A member of the animal care staff will be available to talk about the gorillas and how their time at Hogle Zoo is going thus far.
These animals are a part of the Association of Zoos & Aquarium's (AZA) Gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP) which works to insure that zoo gorillas remain genetically strong and demographically viable for generations to come. This move demonstrates both Denver Zoo's and Hogle Zoo's cooperation with the Gorilla SSP. Denver Zoo's Curator of Mammals, Beth Jo Schoeberl states, "This move provides the opportunity for improving the chance for our female Angel to have a successful outcome of her breeding recommendation with our silverback Jim. We are very happy that JoRayK and Jabali are settling in so well at Hogle."
Kimberly Davidson, Hogle Zoo's Assistant Director indicated that Hogle Zoo is very excited to have these two new females in the collection. While these animals are not recommended to breed at this time with either of our males, we are looking forward to the companionship that they will provide to Husani. The Zoo hasn't had two female gorillas in over a decade, and they are proving to be an active addition to the building already!
JoRayK was born November 2, 1977 at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo and weighs about 200 pounds. She has seven living offspring, of which Jabali is the youngest. Jabali was born on May 29, 2004 at the Denver Zoo and currently weighs about 125 pounds.
Eventually, after a series of introduction phases, Hogle Zoo plans to introduce JoRayK and Jabali to the Zoo's younger male gorilla Husani, so that the three can live as companions.
The introduction of the new gorillas also gives Hogle Zoo a chance to highlight the plight of gorillas, and what we can do to help them. We aim to raise awareness of the need for cell phone recycling in order to preserve gorilla species. Cell phones contain coltan, which is mined in the rainforest - home to gorillas and other endangered animals. Recycling cell phones reduces the demand for coltan and leads to fewer toxins going into our landfills. Cell phones can be dropped off at Hogle Zoo's Guest Services during normal hours. All proceeds go towards gorilla conservation in the Congo.
The gorillas can now be viewed by the public at Utah's Hogle Zoo.
Utah's Hogle Zoo is one of only 223 accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information visit www.aza.org.