Welcome to Gorilla Cam!
We’re pleased to introduce wildlife watchers around the world to Gorilla Cam, a unique opportunity to observe the natural behaviors and daily movements of one of the troops of western lowland gorillas at Zoo Atlanta. Explore this page to learn more about what you can expect, what you might see, and who you might see during the day.
What are you seeing?
This cam view shows one of the gorilla habitats at Zoo Atlanta’s Ford African Rain Forest, which is home to four social groups of gorillas living in separate habitats. This habitat is home to Taz’s troop, the large family group of gorillas at Zoo Atlanta.
Gorillas may be visible in this habitat from roughly 9 a.m. EST to roughly 5 p.m. EST, when they begin moving into their behind-the-scenes area for the night. During the day, there are times when the gorillas may not be visible on the cam. Like wild gorillas, Taz’s group uses various aspects of this large habitat throughout the day. They may not always be in view of the camera, which is stationary. If you visit this page and can’t see the cam, please check back later. It may be that we are experiencing temporary technical difficulties.
What natural behaviors might you see?
Gorilla Cam offers an outstanding opportunity to observe a host of natural gorilla behaviors. These behaviors are much the same as what you might see among a troop of gorillas in the wild and include but are not limited to the behaviors below. This cam does not have sound.
- Foraging for food: In the wild, gorillas spend a large portion of their days foraging for food. The Gorilla Care Team encourages this natural behavior by scattering aspects of the gorillas’ daily diet for them to find as they go about their day.
- Resting: In the wild, when gorillas are not foraging for food, they spend much of their time resting to conserve resources. Taz’s troop is no different, and may often be seen taking an afternoon breather or nap in the shade or on one of the structures.
- Playing: It’s not just about finding food and resting for a gorilla! Play is an important behavior for this highly social species, especially among the juveniles. The younger gorillas are frequently seen playing and wrestling. Their play may appear rough at times, but young gorillas are tough! Rough play is expected.
- Squabbling: Squabbles do happen in a social group like the one seen here, even among individuals who are siblings or who are closely bonded, and are a normal part of gorilla social dynamics. These are most likely to occur among the adult females and are short-lived, much like a quick spat you might have with a friend or family member. As the troop’s leader, Taz also assumes the role of peacemaker. He takes this role seriously and will intervene appropriately when necessary.
Who might you see?
The gorilla troop you see on the cam is Taz’s troop, led by adult silverback Taz (born July 20, 1989); adult females Kudzoo (born February 8, 1994); Sukari (born May 12, 1998); Lulu (born August 22, 1989); and their offspring. Their offspring are Kudzoo’s daughters Merry Leigh (born May 9, 2011) and Mijadala (born September 18, 2016); Sukari’s daughter Anaka (born August 30, 2013); and Lulu’s daughter and son Andi (born March 14, 2013) and Floyd (born July 24, 2019). All of the gorillas in this troop were born at Zoo Atlanta.
You may also occasionally see members of a neighboring troop, Willie B. Jr.’s troop, in the far back left of this view. While their space may look as if it is part of the same habitat, these two habitats are distinct from one another and are separated by a moat. This troop includes adult silverback Willie B., Jr. (born April 8, 1998) and adult females Kambera (born February 19, 1999); Shalia (born February 9, 2002) and Amari (born October 8, 2010). Willie B., Jr. is the only male offspring of the legendary late Willie B. and was born at Zoo Atlanta. Kambera, Shalia, and Amari were born at other AZA-accredited zoos.
And you may see the occasional human. Early in the morning or at times when the gorillas are indoors, you may see members of the Gorilla Care Team in the habitat scattering food for foraging or placing enrichment items for the gorillas’ use. The care team never shares the same space with the gorillas, so these activities only take place when the gorillas are not in the habitat.
Western lowland gorillas and Zoo Atlanta
The arrival of Zoo Atlanta’s most famous gorilla, the late Willie B., in 1961, evolved into what is today a nationally recognized program for the care and behavioral study of critically endangered western lowland gorillas. More than 20 gorillas have been born at Zoo Atlanta since the opening of the landmark Ford African Rain Forest in 1988, with all infants having been mother-reared or reared by a gorilla foster mother.
Zoo Atlanta has been a recipient of the distinguished Edward H. Bean Award for Significant Achievement from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) for its long-term commitment to the species. Zoo Atlanta is home to one of North America’s largest populations of gorillas and cares for gorillas in all ages and stages of life; as such, the Zoo is also a leader in the emerging field of geriatric gorilla care.
Zoo Atlanta is the headquarters of the Great Ape Heart Project, the world’s first coordinated effort to understand, diagnose, and treat cardiac disease across all four great ape taxa. Zoo Atlanta’s primary partner in gorilla conservation, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, is headquartered at Zoo Atlanta and protects and supports gorillas and their habitats in Africa. By contributing pro-bono resources, the Zoo enables the Fossey Fund to expand their impact for gorillas and human communities.
Research published by Zoo Atlanta staff and partners has resulted in more than 100 scientific papers on gorilla behavior, biology, reproduction, and care, and has made significant contributions to the global body of knowledge about this species.