Zoo's Infant Gorilla Receives a
April 30, 2002
Robert Hoage / 202-673-0209
Smithsonian National Zoo's
Infant Lowland Gorilla Named
The name of the infant lowland gorilla born Nov. 5, 2001, at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park was announced during a ceremony held at the Great Ape outdoor exhibit. "Kojo," the name, for the 5-month-old male gorilla was one of three names originally suggested by the Great Ape keeper staff. The three name choices were put to a vote in a contest co-sponsored by Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ), Starbucks Coffee Co. and Mix 107.3 radio.Winners of the naming contest received prizes provided by FONZ, Starbucks and Mix 107.3. The grand prize winner, Carol Taylor of Aldie, Va., received a prize package valued at $2,200, which includes a FONZ $1,000 Gorilla ADOPT Package, a Starbucks Barista Quattro Brewer, coffee, mug and a week of free beverages; and a Mix 107.3 prize package with CDs, a T-shirt and travel mug. Taylor and three friends will also be invited to meet with a keeper for a private visit to the Great Ape House.
The infant male is the fifth offspring of female Mandara and the second of father Kuja. The six-member family group consists of Mandara, Kuja, Baraka, Ktembe, Kwame and the infant. A total of nine lowland gorillas, forming two groups, now reside at the National Zoo. The two groups are given daily access to the large, 7,600 square foot outdoor natural habitat that provides trees and bushes for shade, a pool with a waterfall and plenty of natural and manmade obstacles that encourage normal climbing behavior.
Lowland gorillas, which are native to tropical forests of West and Central Africa, are listed as endangered, and each birth is cause to celebrate. Through a Species Survival Plan, which is coordinated by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, North American zoos are engaged in a collective effort to propagate gorillas in order to better understand their biology and to create a self-sustaining zoo population of the world's largest ape.
Working in conjunction with other scientific and educational organizations, the National Zoo's Monitoring and Assessment of Biodiversity Program (MAB) is striving to increase the scientific knowledge for conservation and natural resource management in the Gamba Complex of Gabon, Central Africa. This area is an important critical habitat for lowland gorillas and many other species of apes.
This research identifies critical information and management gaps, explores operational issues affecting biodiversity and lays the base for a long-term monitoring program that considers land-use planning, industry guidance and resource development. The goal of the program is to deliver scientific research and information for practical, sustainable conservation and natural resource management that will benefit and protect gorillas, their habitats and hundreds of other species that also inhabit this unique rainforest.
With the arrival of spring weather, Zoo parking lots fill
early. Visitors should take Metro's Red Line to the Woodley
Park/Zoo/Adams Morgan or Cleveland Park stops.