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Gorilla Foundation Launches Humanitarian Effort to Save Life of Gorilla Ndume

Gorilla Foundation Launches Humanitarian Effort to Save Life of Gorilla Ndume

October 30, 2018

 

Gorilla Foundation Launches Humanitarian Effort
to
Save Life of Gorilla Ndume

Ndume, long-time Partner of Koko, recently passed, is under threat of being put back in zoo display by Cincinnati Zoo.

 

Redwood City, California (October 30, 2018) - The Gorilla Foundation is prepared to go to Court to prevent the Cincinnati Zoo from knowingly endangering Ndume, an elderly Silverback Gorilla, who has been living in their Woodside Sanctuary for the past 27 years.  The Gorilla Foundation is a nonprofit organization and an accredited member of the American Sanctuary Association.

Rather than support him by providing gorillas who are living solitarily within the Zoo population, the Cincinnati Zoo plans to forcibly transport Ndume from his California Sanctuary home to Ohio where he would go back on public display.

In all likelihood, given the Zoo circumstances, Ndume will be forced to live there in isolation from other gorillas.  Nevertheless, to try and justify his removal from the Gorilla Foundation Sanctuary, the Zoo relies almost exclusively upon the fact that his longtime companion, world famous signing gorilla, Koko, recently passed away.  On this basis, the Zoo imagines that he will forever be living in isolation from other gorillas at the Foundation. 

In fact, the Foundation is actively seeking additional gorilla companions for Ndume, while they continue to care for him with the companionship of his human caregivers, who have been with him for decades.

Indeed, the Foundation first turned to the Zoo’s parent organization, the American Zoological Association (AZA), over 10 years ago to approve bringing a gorilla to create a family group with Koko and Ndume.  However, the AZA actively blocked that and subsequent Foundation requests to bring more gorillas into the sanctuary. 

Now, aware of the Zoo’s desire to put Ndume at risk, ignoring the Foundation’s legitimate concerns, the Gorilla Foundation has reached out to other organizations. It intends to partner with like-minded organizations to bring new gorillas together with Ndume at the Woodside facility, to expand its existing habitats, and ultimately to develop and populate its Maui facility.

The Cincinnati Zoo and the AZA are fully aware that Ndume fared extremely poorly at the Brookfield Zoo and at their own facility before he was transferred to the Gorilla Foundation in 1991, where his long-standing zoo-related emotional and physical health problems cleared up.  Medical records confirm that Ndume not only suffered bites and other injuries at the Brookfield Zoo, he also displayed stress-induced behaviors, associated with his extreme displeasure with a life on public display.  

Now the Zoo is apparently willing to gamble Ndume’s health and well-being in the latter years of his life, knowing the serious health risks inherent in his transport and relocation back into a zoo environment that is unhealthy for him.  There, he was so stressed that he would throw feces and regurgitated food at the public — one of the reasons he was sent to the Foundation 27 years ago.  The Zoo also wants to ignore Ndume’s family history of problems with transport and adaptation between zoos.  

In addition, Ndume, still mourning Koko, would suffer from layers of stress associated with suddenly losing everything else he has ever known and loved: his life in a Sanctuary, his social support system — including caregivers who understand his gestures — and the ongoing 24/7 responsive care and enrichment he receives.

The Gorilla Foundation is committed to the best possible care for Ndume.  The Foundation’s efforts to cooperatively convince the Zoo to take the appropriate course of action for his well-being failed.  The Foundation now intends to present the facts to the Court and trusts that the law will protect Ndume, even though the Cincinnati Zoo will not. 

In short, The Gorilla Foundation will not willingly allow the Cincinnati Zoo to put Ndume’s life in jeopardy without doing all it can to save him.

Questions: Email [email protected]

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