Hogle Zoo gets gorilla mother/daughter duo

May 13, 2022, 1:08 PM
New gorilla, Pele....
New gorilla, Pele.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s Hogle Zoo announced the arrival of Mary and Pele, a mother and daughter pair of western lowland gorillas.

According to a release from the zoo, “Mary (34) and Pele (20), come to us from Busch Gardens Tampa. The mother-daughter duo was born at Gladys Porter Zoo in Texas, but has spent the last 12 years as part of the dynamic Tampa troop.”

Both gorillas will complete a standard quarantine period in the Zoo’s great apes exhibit and may be visible to guests during that time.

The gorillas have unique, fun personalities. Mary has a pretty solid and confident disposition and has had four successful pregnancies that has helped enhanced her mothering skills. She is all about family; loving, supportive, and steady. Pele is an excellent problem solver who loves learning and playing with the younger gorillas. Both enjoy working with trainers and are known for their rumbling vocalizations that accompany their favorite meals!

Since gorillas spend the majority of their life in small social groups or “troops,” the zoo has multiple gorillas in their Western Lowland Gorilla Exhibit. Their troop consists of Husani (a 31-year-old male), Jabali (18-year-old female), and Georgia, (two-year-old female, born to Husani and Jabali.)

The zoo release states troops are usually led by an older male or silverback and consist of several adult females, juveniles, and infants.

“We are delighted to have two new additions, making our troop five members strong. Since the loss of JoRayK (previous matriarch of the group), we are hopeful Mary and Pele will be well embraced by our current troop members. Georgia is nearly two years-old and we anticipate Mary and Pele to have a positive influence on her development,” Clair Hallyburton, Associate Director of Animal Care at Utah’s Hogle Zoo said.

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Hogle Zoo gets gorilla mother/daughter duo