Toledo Zoo is proud to announce the birth of a male Western lowland gorilla born late November 2017. Mokonzi, (Moh-khan-see) which means governor in Swahili, is baby number three for 23 year old mother, Kitani, and baby number five for 29 year old father, Kwisha. Mokonzi is healthy and bonding well with his parents.
The new family is on exhibit indoors at Kingdom of the Apes. Adult western lowland gorillas are the largest of all great apes at four to six feet tall and anywhere from 150 – 500 pounds depending on sex. They live in the heavy rainforests of west central Africa and eat a vegetarian diet of roots, fruits and plants. Western lowland gorillas live in troops consisting of four to eight animals, with one silverback male, a few females, young offspring and occasionally a few young males. Western lowland gorillas are listed as critically endangered and declining on the IUCN Red List for Threatened Species due to three main interconnected threats: habitat loss, bushmeat hunting and human encroachment.