Monday, September 9, 2013

Gorilla Family Trees for North Carolina Zoo

Here are the complete family trees of Bomassa and Apollo, the boy gorillas at the North Carolina Zoo. In the case of Apollo, if you wanted to visit his mother, you would of course find  her (Olympia) with Apollo, at the North Carolina Zoo. His maternal grandmother Mia Moja lives at the Louisville Zoo in Kentucky. And you can still  visit Apollo's maternal great grandmother Machi, if you just travel to the Knoxville Zoo. And would you believe that Apollo's great-great grandmother Choomba is still with us as well? She's at Zoo Atlanta!

Back before that, we just don't know. At the top of each birth line, you see the names of the wild born gorillas in the lineage of the boys. We probably don't have any information at all going back further than this. It's doubtful that records were kept. We might not even know what countries the distant ancestors were found in. It was quite a shady business.  These days we no longer remove gorillas from the African bush for the purpose of exhibiting them in zoos. Most zoos refuse to get involved in the gorilla trade; they simply don't buy gorillas from the wild and instead rely on breeding programs, such as the one which resulted in the successful births of Apollo and Bomassa. At one time, zoos would purchase gorillas young enough to handle and have them transported from Africa. Thank goodness that is over. It was a gruesome endeavor, which you can read more about here in this article about Colo. By the way, as stated in a prior blog post, Colo, great grandmother to both our boys is also still with us. She and their grandmother Toni can both be found in Columbus, Ohio.