Illinois Zoo Welcomes New Silverback Gorilla
Brookfield Zoo’s latest addition, a silverback gorilla named Jontu, is ready to meet the public following his move from Saint Louis Zoo in February.
Jontu, a 26-year-old western lowland gorilla, has been acclimatizing to his new home since his arrival in early February, according to the zoo.
Over the past few weeks, Jontu was given access to his habitat while the section was closed to guests, allowing him to meet the other members of the gorilla group: Binti, 35; Koola, 28; Kamba,18; Nora, 9; and Ali, 4.
According to staff at Brookfield Zoo, the nearly 500-pound ape has been enlisted to maintain harmony within the group, as silverbacks are known to do.
“Guests may notice Jontu, sitting away from the others a lot of the time, but he is very attentive and aware of where other members of the troop are and monitors them, always looking out for their best interest,” said Tim Sullivan, interim director of primate care.
Western lowland gorillas are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, with an estimated 300,000 western lowland gorillas found throughout Western Equatorial Africa. Credit: Lynette Kleisner/CZS-Brookfield Zoo via Storyful