LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- Two western lowland gorillas will be joining Gorilla Forest in a collaborative effort across several accredited zoos within the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
The first arrival, 35-year-old male silverback Casey, arrives at the Louisville Zoo from the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans. At a later time, the Louisville Zoo will also welcome a 19-year-old female gorilla from an AZA-accredited zoo. The details of this arrival will be confirmed closer to the transfer time.
Ultimately, the plan is that new silverback Casey will become the silverback in a family group that includes one-year-old Kindi, her surrogate mother Kweli, female gorilla Paki and the new incoming female gorilla.
Along with these changes, the Louisville Zoo’s 29-year-old silverback Mshindi will be transferred to another AZA-accredited zoo. That exchange will happen in the next few months with details to be announced by that organization.
“We will miss Mshindi,” said Assistant Mammal Curator and Gorilla Forest Supervisor Jill Katka. “However, we believe it is the right time for these changes to occur. Creating the strongest and healthiest family group for Kindi is one of our primary priorities. With the death of her natural mother Mia Moja last year, the family group of Paki, Kweli and Msindi had been splintered and the dynamics altered. These new changes will allow Kindi to have a cohesive family group and will help create more viable family groups for the health and stability of all the gorillas involved in these moves coordinated by the AZA’s Species Survival Plan (SSP).”