ASHEBORO, N.C. – Two young gorillas and their mothers will be staying at the North Carolina Zoo after a change in plans and funds.
Zoo officials told WFMY News 2 Wednesday the gorilla family will be added to the zoo troop next spring.
The family is made up of the two-year-old male gorillas "Bomassa" and "Apollo" along with their mothers "Jamani" age 15 and "Olympia" age 19.
In May, the Gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP) recommended the gorillas would be moved to another zoo where an adult male would be available to teach the young ones behaviors which would help transition them to adulthood.
Since then, donors to the N.C. Zoological Society, the zoo's non-profit support organization, have provided funds to expand the N.C. Zoo's gorilla holding facilities to accommodate additional animals. Construction of these facilities is planned over the winter in order to accommodate additional gorillas in the spring.
As a result of the improvements, the SSP has recommended the transfer of 30-year-old male "Mosuba," 39-year-old- female "Rosie," and her four-year-old grandson "Hadari," from the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NB, to the N.C. Zoo.
"Mosuba is a good candidate for our situation because he has been integrated with young gorillas that are not his before," explained N.C. Zoo General Curator Ken Reininger. "Therefore we have confidence introducing him to our young males will be successful."
Also to be relocated due to the recommendations is N.C. Zoo female gorilla Acacia, age 19, who is not considered a reproductive candidate. Her eventual destination has not been confirmed.