AVONDALE, OH (FOX19) - The Cincinnati Zoo successfully introduced Jomo, a male silverback western lowland gorilla, to baby Gladys and the gorilla family.
Jomo was first introduced to Gladys, Mara and M'Linzi in an indoor space on April 1. Because those introductions went smoothly, zoo keepers chose not to delay the next phase of introductions and moved two female gorillas, Asha and Anju, to Gladys' group with Jomo already in it about a week later. Zoo keepers said that introduction also went very well.
The main goal of the zoo has been to get Gladys in a typical social group, with a silverback like Jomo, and to have her in a group with expecting mothers. In this case, Asha is pregnant and keepers hope Anju will be eventually. Zoo officials want Gladys and all the "kid" gorillas to grow up together.
"This phase of introductions has been extremely critical and very important for a young gorilla's behavioral and social development," said Cincinnati Zoo spokesperson Tiffany Barnes.
The gorillas now living in the family group with Gladys are M'Linzi, Mara, Asha, Anju, Jomo and Samantha.
The new family will be outside Wednesday around 11 a.m. for zoo visitors. Because Cincinnati weather is still temperamental, Gladys' group will not be outside daily.