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Zoo Atlanta is widely respected for the study and care of great apes. The Zoo is home to the nation’s largest collection of gorillas.

The gorillas live in distinct social groups over a 1.5-acre series of habitats, a lush natural environment that promotes behaviors similar to those observed in the wild. Nineteen gorillas have been born at Zoo Atlanta since the opening of The Ford African Rain Forest in 1988.

Meet the Gorillas

Shamba
Date of birth: April 1959
Sex: female
birthplace: Wild-born in Africa
Habitat: Habitat 2, Ozzie's group

Shamba, whose name means “garden” in Swahili, is the Zoo’s oldest gorilla. Her many descendants include son Taz and his offspring. She may look irritable sometimes, but her sweet disposition has made her a favorite among keepers. Shamba likes to experiment with sticks, and she almost always carries one inside with her at night – usually in her mouth! Her favorite foods are onions and raisins. 

Ozoum (Ozzie)
Date of birth: Circa 1961
Sex: male
birthplace: Wild-born in Africa

Habitat: Habitat 2, silverback of group

Ozzie is the oldest male gorilla in the world. This 350-pound silverback is a terrific father who has sired many of the gorillas at Zoo Atlanta. Ozzie dislikes loud music and telephone rings, and he communicates with his keepers using “reply” vocalizations and a series of characteristic raps on doors or windows. His favorite food is cabbage. 

Choomba
Date of birth: April 1, 1963
Sex: female
birthplace: Wild-born in Africa
Habitat: Habitat 2, Ozzie's group

Now a great-great grandmother, Choomba, whose name is slang for “friend,” is the matriarch of four gorilla generations.  This dominant female so loves babies that she was once notorious for kidnapping, cuddling, and carrying other gorilla mothers’ infants. Often mistaken for a silverback, she has greying hair and loves looking at herself in the mirror.

Kuchi
Date of birth: October 10, 1984
Sex: female
birthplace:
Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center
Habitat: 3, Taz's group

“Supermom” Kuchi is the only gorilla in North America ever to raise twins. She’s very protective of her offspring, usually keeping them close until they’re around 3 years old, and is often seen holding her babies by their feet as they struggle to assert their freedom. Kuchi loves oranges and grapefruit and can always be counted on to eat everyone else’s leftover peels. 

Kekla
Date of birth: March 15, 1989
Sex: Male
Birthplace: Zoo Atlanta
Habitat: 1, bachelor group

Kekla, whose name means “dawn” in Bawanese, was the first gorilla born at Zoo Atlanta. He weighs around 355 pounds, and his muscular physique and distinctive light brown eyes have earned him the distinction of being one of the Zoo’s handsomest gorillas. When he was 7, Kekla became part of the Zoo’s first bachelor group, and he’s still a bachelor today. He’s very friendly with keepers, but don’t offer him onions! They’re his least favorite food.

Taz
Date of birth: July 20, 1989
Sex: Male
Birthplace: Zoo Atlanta
Habitat: 3, silverback of group

Taz, whose name means “to look at” in Swahili, is the father of twins Kali and Kazi, Macy B., Gunther, Henry, Merry Leigh, Andi and Anaka. This usually serious 370-pound silverback has a silly side – he’s known to spin on wet floors. He’s a great catch during fruit feedings (no grapefruits – he doesn’t like those!) and is predominantly left-handed. He displays for all female gorillas, whether they’re in his group or not, and as his group’s dominant male, he’s often seen participating in training demonstrations at the Willie B. Gorilla Conservation Center. 

Stadi
Date of birth: May 14, 1991
Sex: Male
Birthplace: Zoo Atlanta
Habitat: 1, bachelor group

Stadi, whose name means “expert” in Swahili, is one of the many offspring of silverback Ozzie. He weighs around 365 pounds and has a tall, muscular physique. Stadi is very vocal. Dominance shifts between Stadi and his younger brother Charlie in their bachelor group. 

Kudzoo 
Date of birth: February 8, 1994 
Sex: female 
Birthplace: Zoo Atlanta
Habitat: 3, Taz’s group 

Kudzoo was the firstborn offspring of Willie B. Like her mother Choomba, she has a dominant personality and a bit of a bossy streak. She can be recognized by her dark hair and boxy body shape.

Charlie
Date of birth: June 7, 1996
Sex: Male
Birthplace: Zoo Atlanta
Habitat: 1, bachelor group

At around 400 pounds, Charlie is the largest gorilla at Zoo Atlanta. He’s very smart and is often sneaky, frequently trying to steal from his brothers Stadi and Kekla by using burlap bags to swipe their food away. He’s also the only gorilla who soaks his crackers in water! 

Willie B., Jr. (Kidogo)
Date of birth: April 8, 1998
Sex: Male
Birthplace: Zoo Atlanta
Habitat: Rotates between 4 and 
5

Willie B., Jr. is the only male offspring of his famous late father, and he’s an exact likeness of Willie B. He’s a very large silverback with a playful, silly streak, sometimes running backward, playing in water, or sliding down wet hillsides. Willie B., Jr. currently lives in a bachelor group with Jasiri. 

Sukari
Date of birth: May 12, 1998
Sex: Female
Birthplace: Zoo Atlanta
Habitat: 3, Taz's group

Sukari, whose name means “sugar” in Swahili, is the fourth offspring of the late Willie B. and the mother of his grandson, Gunther. Sukari is the life of the party and loves mugging for attention, making silly faces, and playing in the rain. She often “sings” during feeding time and is an extremely good tool user. Sukari gave birth to Anaka on August 30, 2013. She is good at improvising and has created her own vocalization to get the keepers' attention.

Jasiri
Date of birth: June 21, 1998
Sex: Male
Birthplace: Zoo Atlanta
Habitat: Rotates between 4 and 5

Jasiri was rejected by his birth mother when he was an infant, so he was raised by a surrogate mother. He’s known for a skittish personality, but he finds time to play with his buddy Willie B., Jr.  

Lulu
Date of birth: August 22, 1999
Sex: Female
Birthplace: Zoo Atlanta
Habitat: 3, Taz's group

Lulu, whose name means “pearl” in Swahili, is the fifth and last offspring of the late Willie B. She is the half-sister of Kali, Kazi and Henry. Lulu gave birth to Andi on March 14, 2013. The newborn is Lulu’s first surviving offspring and the seventh for 23-year-old family leader Taz. Juice is one of her favorite treats.

Mbeli 
Date of birth: May 27, 2002 
Sex: male
Birthplace: Zoo Atlanta
Habitat: Rotates between 4 and 5, young bachelor group 

Mbeli is the youngest of the many offspring of silverback Ozzie. He now shares a young bachelor group with Kali and Gunther. Just because Mbeli is the oldest in his group doesn't mean he is always dominant. Kal and Gunther often team up on him and put him in his place. 

Kali aka "Kal"
Date of birth: October 31, 2005
Sex: male
Birthplace: Zoo Atlanta
Habitat: Rotates between 4 and 5, young bachelor group

Kal, whose name means “strong” in Swahili, is the twin brother of Kazi and can be recognized by his smooth, dark head of hair. Kal is now part of a young bachelor group with his half-brother Gunther and Mbeli. 

Kazi
Date of birth: October 31, 2005
Sex: female
Birthplace: Zoo Atlanta
Habitat: 3, Taz's group

Kazi, whose name means “treasure” in Swahili, is the twin sister of Kali. She’s a very adventurous young female, often seen spinning in circles down the hill in her habitat. Kazi is best known for the famous YouTube video of her playing in the leaves. She loves to play with all of the younger gorillas. 

Macy Baby
Date of birth: December 12, 2005
Sex: female
Birthplace: Zoo Atlanta
Habitat: 3, Taz's group

Macy B. is Kudzoo’s daughter and the first surviving grandchild of Willie B. She’s very smart and protective, and is an amazing big sister to Merry Leigh. Macy acts like the aunt to all the gorillas, she often spends her time carrying around the younger gorillas. 

Gunther
Date of birth: July 6, 2006
Sex: male
Birthplace: Zoo Atlanta
Habitat: Rotates between 4 and 5, young bachelor group

Gunther is Sukari’s son and is the grandson of the late Willie B. He’s an independent fellow and can often be seen near Kal, who shares a young bachelor group with Gunther and Mbeli. Gunther is the silliest of our gorillas, always playing with something or someone.

Henry
Date of birth: May 23, 2010
Sex: male
Birthplace: Zoo Atlanta
Habitat: 3, Taz's group

Henry was named for Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company, in celebration of the 25th year of partnership between Zoo Atlanta and Ford Motor Company. Now that he’s begun to get a little freedom from his mother, Kuchi, Henry can sometimes be seen playing by himself in the artificial tree in his habitat. Henry is a favorite offspring of Taz, and the two can often be seen playing and wrestling indoors.

Merry Leigh
Date of birth: May 9, 2011
Sex: female
Birthplace: Zoo Atlanta
Habitat: 3, Taz's group

Mother’s Day fell on the day Merry Leigh was born, so she was a nice surprise! Named by Atlanta philanthropist Merry Carlos, Merry Leigh is fearless and will often walk right up to her daddy during feeding time to see if she can get a bit of his food. Merry is becoming very independent and getting closer to Taz. Most gorillas her age don't want to be separated from their mothers but she often separates, even when inside. 

Andi
Date of birth: March 14, 2013
Sex: female
Birthplace: Zoo Atlanta
Habitat: 3, Taz's group

Lulu’s infant is the 19th gorilla born at Zoo Atlanta since the opening of The Ford African Rain Forest in 1988. Andi the gorilla was named by Zoo staff in memory of Andy Pachman, the late husband of Tara Stoinski, PhD, Director and CEO of Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International.

Anaka
Date of birth: August 30, 2013
Sex: female
Birthplace: Zoo Atlanta
Habitat: 3, Taz's group

Sukari, a 15-year-old western lowland gorilla, gave birth to a female infant on August 30, 2013.  A grandchild of the legendary late Willie B., the newborn is the 20th gorilla born in The Ford African Rain Forest since 1988, and is the second gorilla born at Zoo Atlanta in 2013. Anaka has a unique pink and white pigmentation in her fingers and a very unique personality, often barking at her mom and others to get a prime spot for food and juice. 

 

By Group - Habitats subject to change

Habitat 1,
bachelor group
Habitat 2,
Ozzie's group
Habitat 3,
Taz's group
Habitat 4 or 5,
young bachelor group
Habitat 4 or 5,
Kidogo's group
 
 
 
 
Kekla Ozzie, Silverback Taz, silverback Mbeli Jasiri
 
 
 
 
 
Stadi Shamba Kuchi Kal Kidogo
 
 
 
 
 
Charlie Choomba Kudzoo Gunther  
   
 
   
    Sukari    
   
 
   
    Lulu    
   
 
   
    Kaz    
   
 
   
    Macy Baby    
   
 
   
    Henry    
   
 
   
    Merry Leigh    
   
 
   
    Andi    
   
 
   
    Anaka