I would like to take a moment to express my sincerest gratitude to all of the readers who follow our #GorillaStory updates. I see our gorillas, especially Moke, as the epitome of animal ambassadors for their species. It is wonderful to be able to share their stories not only with people who visit the Smithsonian’s National Zoo physically, but also with those who visit virtually through social media and our e-newsletters. Your thoughtful comments and desire to learn more inspire me to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for the amazing animals in our care!
I feel honored to write this blog and thank you for sharing our troop’s story with your families, friends and loved ones. My hope is that you consider not only Moke and his troop, but also gorillas in the wild. All four subspecies—western lowland gorillas, mountain gorillas, Grauer’s gorillas and cross river gorillas—are critically endangered and face tremendous pressures that impact their survival. In future updates, I will share how all of us, through individual and collective actions, can help conserve this wonderful species.
Several readers expressed interest in volunteering. Positions with our Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) volunteer program become available from time to time. I encourage you to check out this page, which has lots of great information about the program and current ways you can help.
Planning to visit Moke? Winter hours begin Oct. 1, and the Great Ape House will be open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Don’t miss the gorilla keeper chat! Check the Daily Programs page for the full winter schedule of animal encounters.