Gorilla Watching Opportunities Widen with Addition of Fourth Male
[Columbia, SC] — Guests visiting Riverbanks Zoo and Garden now have the opportunity to see the Zoo’s newest bachelor, Patrick, a 23-year-old western lowland gorilla.
Patrick moved to Riverbanks in October of 2013 from the Dallas Zoo. His arrival grows the Zoo’s gorilla group to four males; the troop also is made up of Chaka (29), Mike (22) and Ajari (13).
"We’ve spent the last few months getting Patrick acclimated to his new home, and the introduction process has gone extremely well,” said John Davis, curator of mammals at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. "Patrick is full of personality and loves to interact with his keepers and the public. We are excited to have him at Riverbanks.”
Patrick, like Riverbanks’ other gorillas, came to the Zoo as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s (AZA) gorilla management plan. There are currently more than 500 Species Survival Plan (SSP) programs managed within the AZA.
In the wild, gorillas live in troops that typically range in size from 5 to 30 individuals led by one dominant male silverback. Despite the social nature of these great apes, Patrick prefers a solitary lifestyle. "Because of maternal neglect, Patrick was hand-raised by zoo keepers and as an adult has always favored a much more private existence,” said Davis.
At Riverbanks, Patrick lives separately from Chaka, Mike and Ajari but has close contact with them through sight and smell. Guests can see the Zoo’s gorillas on exhibit daily at Gorilla Base Camp.
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