Image: © Buffalo Zoo

New Gorilla, Kayin Joins Saint Louis Zoo Family


The Animal Facts Editorial Team


May 31, 2023 11:40 pm


Saint Louis Zoo, Missouri, The United States

Saint Louis Zoo have welcomed a male gorilla, Kayin from the Buffalo Zoo to join their bachelor group. The move comes on a recommendation from the  AZA Species Survival Plan (SSP) for western lowland gorillas, a conservation program that manages a genetically healthy population of this species in North American zoos.

At 7 years old Kayin has naturally reached the age at which he would move out of his family troop and join a join a bachelor group or begin searching for a partner. He was born at Buffalo Zoo during 2016.

“Having the chance to work with Kayin's keepers in Buffalo and St. Louis has really allowed the Primate Care Team to learn and adjust with Kayin. Everyone has Kayin's best interests at heart, and seeing the hard work and collaboration behind his smooth transfer from Buffalo Zoo to the Saint Louis Zoo was inspiring. Both communities share in the excitement of Kayin’s arrival,” said Shannon Santangelo, Primate Keeper, Saint Louis Zoo.

Kayin is joining a bachelor group at the Saint Louis Zoo alongside males male gorillas Joe, Bakari, and Zachary. At present he is settling in to his new home in an off-display but will be visible in the on exhibit areas by the summer.

Saint Louis Zoo staff pioneered the technique of forming bachelor gorilla groups in captivity. They also completed the first successful integration of two bachelor groups. These bachelor units help prepare gorillas to successfully lead a family in the future.

Western lowland gorillas are the most common of the four subspecies of gorilla but are still critically endangered.

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More on the Western Lowland Gorilla!

The western lowland gorilla is one of our closest relatives. Find out what makes them so close to us in our fact file.

Our Favourite Western Lowland Gorilla Fact!

Western Lowland Gorillas are very intelligent. They make a range of tools which simplify their foraging process. One famous gorilla, Koko managed to learn 1,000 signs and communicate with her carers.

Image: © Buffalo Zoo

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