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September 2018: Zahra Update

Photo by Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Posted October 2018

Little Zahra, a female western lowland gorilla, born on September 9 at the Milwaukee County Zoo is flourishing in her new home at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio. On June 13 Zahra arrived at the Columbus Zoo where she was placed in Mac’s troop. Mac’s troop includes females Toni; Kinyani; Mo’Ana; Tabibu and 3-year-old Kamina, as well as three males, soon to be 35-year-old Mac, the troop leader; 5-year-old Kamoli and 2-year-old JJ. Since her arrival, Zahra has made incredible strides in her development including:

Photo by Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

June 20

  • Introduced to Toni, a potential experienced surrogate mother

July 5

  • Bonded quickly with surrogate mother, Toni
  • Visually, through mesh, introduced to other troop members behind the scenes

August 2

  • Met Mac, the troop leader, and Kamina, a young female in Mac’s troop, without mesh
  • Became “best friends” with Kamina; the two enjoy playing and Kamina even carries Zahra on her back

August 4

  • Now on view for public from 9-to-10 a.m. with Mac, Toni and Kamina
  • Introductions, without mesh, with other troop members continue behind the scenes

September 9

  • Zahra turned 1 year old
  • Fittingly, she celebrated her birthday on Great Apes Day

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium describes Zahra as a delightful, slightly flirtatious, girl who is very energetic. The entire process from 24/7 human-assisted rearing to fully rejoining Mac’s troop depends entirely on Toni and Zahra. Zookeepers take cues from the pair when to move forward with each step. Stay tuned for more updates as Zahra continues to grow!