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Three Western Lowland gorillas debut at Milwaukee County Zoo

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Posted at 1:13 PM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-03 18:34:19-04

MILWAUKEE — The gorilla family has grown by three at the Milwaukee County Zoo and visitors are going bananas for the newest additions.

"It's really cute, it's really cute," said one visitor, Olive Stoffel.

"It's amazing that they can bring in the new gorilla family and we all get to sit here and see them," said her mother, Stacey Stoffel.

Meet the latest trio to call the Milwaukee County Zoo their new home: Oliver, Dotty and Nadami.

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"Oliver is just a really relaxed and chill male, he adores his females. He's very protective and takes good care of them. Young Nadami has this great vivacious personality, the two females get along really well," said Patricia Kahan, curator of primates and small mammals for the Milwaukee County Zoo.

In April, the three Western Lowland gorillas were transferred from the Columbus Zoo to Milwaukee County. And after completing their quarantine, the family is finally ready for some visitors.

"Our staff has worked really hard to get to know them, to give them time to get to know their exhibits and facilities and become really comfortable," said Kahan.

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Primate caretaker Patricia Kahan says the zoo now has five gorillas in total, and now that the new family has arrived, she hopes that number will only grow.

"They are all genetically compatible, so we're hopeful of that down the road. We have breeding recommendations. There is a very good possibility that we'll have young gorillas in the future," said Kahan.

And with the Western Lowland gorillas listed as critically endangered, Kahan says having this trio can help prevent them from going extinct.

"This is an opportunity for us to help with the conservation of the species by breeding gorillas here at the Milwaukee County Zoo," said Kahan.

"It's actually kind of cool because there are many animals out there; some are going extinct and people don't know," said another visitor, Lucy Oelke.

You can see the gorillas in their new habitat at the zoo Monday through Friday. And in case you were wondering, the gorilla's weight ranges from 150 all the way to 355 pounds.

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