Sunday, July 22 , 2018, 9:56 am | A Few Clouds 71º


Local News

Santa Barbara Zoo Welcomes 2 New Western Lowland Gorillas

Since the departure of the Santa Barbara Zoo's beloved western lowland gorillas in June, zoo staff and visitors alike have anxiously been awaiting the arrival of new gorillas to inhabit the exhibit. 

The wait is over as brothers Nzinga and Bangori arrived Wednesday from the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas and are already settling in.

Santa Barbara Zoo Director Nancy McToldridge said the two are “acclimating well and enjoying fruits, vegetables, and other treats.”

Nzinga and Bangori are the first new gorilla faces the zoo has welcomed in almost 20 years.

The exhibit previously was home to Goma and Kivu, two males the Santa Barbara Zoo has had since 1997.

Both gorillas were relocated to other zoos earlier this summer to aid in their breeding programs. ​Goma moved to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado while Kivu is transitioning to life in Arkansas at the Little Rock Zoo.

They were both transferred in the hope of starting their own families, since western lowland gorillas are critically endangered, according to the Santa Barbara Zoo. 

Nzinga and Bangori, who are 18 and 12 years old respectively, will live together as bachelors until they too are ready to start their own family troop, aiding in what McToldridge deems “a modern conservation success story.”

They are currently in a 30-day quarantine and will likely be out in the exhibit for the public to see in just over a month, according to the zoo. 

Click here for more information about the zoo and how to become a Foster Feeder Sponsor. 

Noozhawk intern Dani DeVries can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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