Global Celebration of Gorillas Kicks off September 24
Louisville, KY., – The Louisville Zoo joins the global conservation community in celebrating the first ever World Gorilla Day on September 24. World Gorilla Day creates the opportunity for people all over the world to come together in celebrating the gorilla, and more importantly, taking action to protect gorillas in the wild.
The inaugural year for World Gorilla Day also marks the 50th anniversary of Karisoke Research Center, operated by The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (DFGFI). Established by Dian Fossey, Karisoke is the longest running gorilla field study site dedicated to the conservation, protection, and study of gorillas and their habitats in Africa. Thus, the focus of World Gorilla Day 2017 will be celebrating this incredible milestone anniversary.
The Louisville Zoo’s celebration will be held at Gorilla Forest from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Guests will get a chance to hear from our gorilla keepers and ask questions during keeper talks scheduled at 12:30 p.m. 2:15 p.m. and 4 p.m. A food toss, where keepers toss part of the gorilla’s diet from the roof of Gorilla Forest into the yard outside, is set for 2:15 p.m. Docents will be on hand with gorilla bio facts at education stations around Gorilla Forest from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Gorilla Forest is home to ten western lowland gorillas: one-year-old Kindi and her surrogate gorilla mom Kweli; female paki and silverback Casey who recently arrived at the Louisville Zoo; a bachelor group made up of males Bengati, Cecil, Kicho and Jelani; and finally, two geriatric females — Helen and Demba.
Only found in the dense forests of central Africa, gorillas are critically endangered and could face extinction if stronger efforts are not mounted to protect them. The primary threats to their survival are illegal poaching, civil unrest, disease, and habitat destruction due to extractive industries such as mining. There are many great organizations and individuals dedicated to fighting for gorilla survival, but greater awareness and investment are essential to the effort. World Gorilla Day strives to be a rallying point for bolstering appreciation and action for these great apes.
Visit worldgorilladay.com for more information and resources, along with a list of all participating organizations. To see more information about the Zoo’s planned activities visit: LouisvilleZoo.org/events
The Louisville Zoo, a nonprofit organization and state zoo of Kentucky, is dedicated to bettering the bond between people and our planet by providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and leadership in scientific research and conservation education. The Zoo is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
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