One year after the death of Harambe, the 17-year-old silverback gorilla who was shot by zoo officials after a 3-year-old boy climbed into his enclosure, the Cincinnati Zoo has welcomed a new gorilla to its exhibit.
Mshindi, a 29-year-old male Western Lowland Silverback gorilla, was moved from the Louisville Zoo to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), which serves as a safeguard for animals facing extinction in the wild.
He’s the first gorilla to be added to the Cincinnati Zoo since Harambe’s controversial death in May 2016.
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Michelle Curley, communications director for the Cincinnati Zoo, told ABC News that SSP, the group that manages more than 360 gorillas across the U.S., determined that the zoo was an appropriate fit for Mshindi due to the amount of space and correct social setup.
“[Mshindi] has settled in really nicely and it’s been a smooth transition,” Curley said. Mshindi arrived at the end of August.
Curley said Mshindi is already exploring his outdoor facility and will eventually be put into a group with two female gorillas.
“They don’t have a breeding recommendation but that could change in the future,” she said.
She added, “Sometimes the introduction process takes some time. Right now he has visual contact with the ladies, but it is whenever he seems like he’s ready, but I would say within this month or October.”