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Ajabu Credit Tom Hartman 1

Ajabu, Philadelphia Zoo's 6-year-old western lowland gorilla, transferring zoos as part of Species Survival Plan

We have some bittersweet news to share with you: Ajabu, our 6-year-old western lowland gorilla, will be moving to another zoo in early 2024. The move comes as a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP).

The SSP considers what is best for the genetics and the demographics of the overall population, while also considering the need of each individual gorilla within each zoo. Ajabu has been giving us (and his family!) signs that it is time for him to move on from the troop and join a new one.

Ajabu made major headlines when he was born June 2, 2017. His mother, Kira, a first-time mom, was in labor for 24 hours and was showing signs of fatigue and no progress. Through the expertise of our animal team, veterinary team, and critical relationships developed with outside veterinarians and human doctors, Kira successfully gave birth to Ajabu during an emergency delivery. After spending a night in the hospital cared for by our veterinary staff and keepers as Kira recovered from anesthesia, the then-unnamed baby boy was reunited with his mother who immediately started caring for her infant.

We invite you to visit the Zoo during our daytime hours from 9:30am – 3:00pm between Christmas and New Year’s to wish Ajabu good luck on his next adventure. He will be dearly missed, but we are grateful to work with our AZA community to provide Ajabu a great place to grow up, continue to be an important ambassador of his species, help people all over the world fall in love with gorillas, and make changes in their daily lives to protect this critically endangered species. Ajabu’s new home is preparing their special announcement for when he arrives, which we will share once he is settled in. Ajabu will be a part of a bachelor group at his new home.

Ajabu Credit Tom Hartman 1

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