Intro

Meet our gorilla troop and see how this fascinating family functions

Jersey Zoo has been home to western lowland gorillas for more than 60 years, successfully breeding them and training conservationists to protect these majestic apes in the wild.

Our current family, led by dominant silverback Badongo, has an extensive outdoor enclosure, full of long grass to walk through, platforms to stand on, robust ladders to climb, and leaves to forage. See the troop for yourself in their habitat just beyond Café Dodo and the tamarin enclosures.

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Animal facts

Key facts about the western lowland gorilla

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I'm found in Central and Western Africa

Western lowland gorillas are the most widespread gorilla species and can be found in the dense rainforests across Central Africa.

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My diet is mostly vegetarian

Western lowland gorillas eat roots, fruit, leaves and tree bark, and will occasionally eat insects.

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Males can weigh up to 180kg

Impressive considering western lowland gorillas are the smallest gorilla species!

98%

DNA shared with humans

40

Average lifespan in captivity

316,000

Estimated wild population

Gorillas at Jersey Zoo

Meet the troop

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Badongo – the leader of the troop

Silverback Badongo is mostly calm and quiet, until someone starts squabbling! His favourite food is coconut.

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Bahasha – the dominant female

Bahasha is the caring, patient and protective mum to Amari. She loves tucking into her leafy greens, when Amari isn't trying to steal them that is!

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Amari – the baby of the group

Cheeky little Amari is the offspring of Badongo and Bahasha. Her favourite food is pear and she loves to wind up her dad!

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Kishka – the gentle older lady

A very inquisitive gorilla, Kishka is an expert nest builder and enjoys eating her leafy greens.

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Hlala Kahilli – the foodie

Usually the first to finish every meal, Kahilli's favourite food is curly willow. Her dad was the much-loved silverback, Jambo.

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Gorillas remain critically endangered

Just 316,000 western lowland gorillas are estimated to remain in the wild today. 80% of these live outside of protected areas. Troops across Central Africa are threatened by a wide range of issues, including hunting and poaching for bushmeat, the illegal pet trade, destruction of habitat by humans, and the effects of climate change on water sources and habitat.

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Protection in the wild

Our 60+ year relationship with gorillas has helped us develop a better understanding of their diets, mental and physical stimulation, and how they form stable social groups.

This valuable knowledge has helped inform the Gorilla Guardian programme, our initiative that has so far trained nine conservationists from Central Africa. The programme provides participants the skills needed to manage and lead effective gorilla conservation projects in their home countries.

Help us care for our gorillas