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Gorilla Returns to Zoo Atlanta for Aged Care

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: April 3, 2021 1:25 am

Western lowland gorilla Machi returns to Zoo Atlanta

Machi the western lowland gorilla has recently returned to Zoo Atlanta

Photo Credit: Tennessee Trails Photography

Machi a 45-year-old female western lowland gorilla came back to her hometown at Zoo Atlanta from Zoo Knoxville on March 29th 2021.

She had previously lived at Zoo Atlanta from 1988 to 2013 when she moved to Zoo Knoxville on a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Gorilla Species Survival Plan® (SSP).

Zoo Atlanta host one of North America’s largest gorilla populations with 20 individuals. Since they opened the Ford African rainforest in 1988 they have celebrated 24 gorilla births.

Machi came to Zoo Atlanta in 1988 with her mother, Choomba from Emory University’s Yerkes National Primate Research Center.

Upon her return to Zoo Atlanta she will join a group with her mother and other aging gorillas. These include 60 year old Ozzie, the world’s oldest recorded male gorilla and female Kuchi who is 36. This troop enjoy a facility which is adapted for their specialized needs.

Ozzie is also the father of two children with Machi.

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“We are very happy to welcome Machi back to Zoo Atlanta. Our Gorilla Care Team has demonstrated success with the care and comfort of aging gorillas and work to ensure that their golden years are healthy and enriching,” said Jennifer Mickelberg, PhD, Vice President of Collections and Conservation. “In welcoming Machi back, we’re also thrilled that she will get to rejoin Choomba and other gorillas she knows.”

Zoo Atlanta are considered a pioneer in the care of gorillas in zoos including specialist care for elderly individuals. They have helped to enhance the understanding of these apes through the publication of 100 papers on maternal care, reproduction, social behavior, and cognition.

They also act as the headquarters of the Great Ape Heart Project, the world’s first effort to understand, diagnose, and treat cardiac disease across all four great ape taxa: gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees, and bonobos.

Currently Machi is settling in to her new home in a behind-the scenes area. The zoo will provide an update when she is ready to go on display.

Learn more about Western Lowland Gorillas here – Western Lowland Gorilla Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about Zoo Atlanta on their website – Zoo Atlanta

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