Michigan Zoo welcomes four new gorillas, including male who’s nearly 40

four pics of four gorillas at the detroit zoo

The Detroit Zoo has welcomed four new Gorillas: (Nayembi (top left), Mshindi (bottom left) Tulivu (bottom right) and Bandia (top right). (Photos provided by the Detroit Zoological Society)


ROYAL OAK, MI - Four gorillas have just moved in to the Detroit Zoo from out of state. We are getting our first look at one male and three females who now live at the Zoo’s Great Apes of Harambee habitat.

Three of them, Mshindi, Tulivu and Bandia, came to the Zoo in Royal Oak in Metro Detroit from the Cincinnati Zoo where they lived together in a troop since 2019. The fourth, Nayembi, came from Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo.

The male, Mshindi, is a silverback who was born on October 17, 1987. The other three are females. Tulivu was born on May 2, 2004, Bandia on September 13, 1997, and Nayembi on November 16, 2012.

“The four new gorillas are already making themselves at home, and they are wonderful additions to the Detroit Zoo,” said Tami Brightrall, associate curator of mammals for the Detroit Zoological Society. “They each have unique personalities, and we can’t wait for our members and guests to get to know them.”

The four gorillas are now living at the Zoo’s Great Apes of Harambee habitat, a 4-acre space which is also home to 13 chimpanzees. The gorilla area had been unoccupied since July when the Zoo said goodbye to a group of three gorilla “bachelors,” Chipua, Kongo-Mbeli and Pendeka, who called the Zoo home for 20 years.

Those gorillas moved to the Cincinnati Zoo on a recommendation from the Species Survival Plan. The SSP also recommended all four of the new gorilla transfers to the Detroit Zoo. This cooperative management program is aimed at ensuring the sustainability of healthy, genetically diverse and demographically varied populations of animals in human care.

The Detroit Zoo is celebrating the arrival of Mshindi, Tulivu, Bandia and Nayembi with a welcome party for the gorillas on Saturday, Sept. 2 and Sunday, Sept. 3. Guests who visit the Zoo on those days will learn more about the gorillas from the animal care team who works with them every day. Habitat chats and special animal enrichments will be scheduled for 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. each day.


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