Posts Tagged With: gorilla

New silverback joins female gorillas

Silverback Subira in his new habitat at the Dallas Zoo.

Silverback Subira in his new habitat at the Dallas Zoo.

He’s a sight for sore eyes — a handsome fella and a patient man (swooning much?). Subira, a 19-year-old Western lowland gorilla, has joined the Dallas Zoo troop as a breeding male, creating our first family group in over a decade.

The silverback couldn’t be a better fit for our three gorilla girls: Megan, Madge and Shanta. Subira already has caught the eye of 9-year-old Megan. “She’s definitely the most interested and the least nervous about getting close to him,” mammal supervisor Sarah Villarreal said. “She’s very pushy and stays very close, trying to appease him.”

Subira is very caring and the introductions have gone perfectly. All four gorillas have been together 24 hours a day since last week. Subira went out into the habitat with the females for the first time this week, but is still a little hesitant to explore.

Western lowland gorilla, Subira

Western lowland gorilla, Subira

He comes from the Granby Zoo in Quebec, Canada, where he’s lived for the past five years. “This is huge for the Dallas Zoo, since we haven’t had a gorilla baby in over 10 years,” said Keith Zdrojewski, mammal curator. “It was hard work to get an international gorilla here with the amount of paperwork and agencies involved. We’ve put in a lot of effort to bring him here for this purpose.”

The breeding recommendation comes from the Species Survival Plan (SSP) for Western lowland gorillas. SSP is a conservation and breeding program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums that manages efforts to ensure genetic diversity for the survival of endangered species.

It’s a hopeful future for our new family group! You can find the group out every day in the north habitat, along the Gorilla Trail entrance near the Giants of the Savanna.

Categories: Africa, Conservation, Gorilla, Mammals | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Second-graders pitch new animals to our team


It’s not every day we have a group of 8-year-olds pitching our experts on what animals they think our zoo should have. That’s exactly what Lesa Haney’s second-grade Polser Elementary class did, with enthusiasm, confidence, and a whole lot of research.

The class of 21 second-graders researched five animals they think should be in our collection: pandas, dog-faced bats, hummingbirds, a komodo dragon, and gorillas (although we already have gorillas, we still listened).

Check out the Dallas Zoo as they Skype with Polser Elementary.

Harrison Edell and Marti Copeland are beamed directly into a Polser Elementary classroom via Skype, which is how they discussed the students’ suggestions for new animals.

Our senior director of living collections, Harrison Edell, and our director of education, Marti Copeland, Skyped with the class as they presented their projects and asked questions.

We were amazed at the effort the children put into their pitches. They spent three weeks working on their presentations, which included a fully designed panda and gorilla habitat made out of clay and a dog-faced bat puppet show. And our experts agreed we’d love to have any of the animals the students suggested here at the Zoo.

And because they’re modern students, they even tweeted their project on Twitter, bringing engagement from The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. To learn more about the project and to watch their YouTube video presentations, click here.



Categories: Education | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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