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A year of animal highlights

COVID-19 brought an extraordinarily challenging year for Zoo Atlanta and other zoos and wildlife organizations around the world, but the Zoo’s commitment to its animal programs never wavered. Even in the midst of a difficult 2020, Zoo Atlanta celebrated many memorable milestones in the lives of the animal population.

Welcome Baloo and Bramble the binturongs
Zoo Atlanta welcomed Baloo, a 1-year-old male binturong, in February. Baloo was joined by Bramble, a 2-year-old female, in July.

Welcome Mumbles the southern white rhino
Mumbles, a 9-year-old male southern white rhino, joined the all-new African Savanna complex in May. Mumbles is the first southern white rhino ever to be housed at Zoo Atlanta.

Ozzie’s 59th birthday
Zoo Atlanta celebrated a birthday for Ozzie the western lowland gorilla on Father’s Day. At 59 years old, Ozzie is the world’s oldest living male gorilla.

Floyd’s first birthday
A little over two months after observing Ozzie’s 59th birthday, the Zoo celebrated a first birthday for Ozzie’s great-grandson, Floyd. The 24th gorilla born at Zoo Atlanta since the opening of The Ford African Rain Forest in 1988, Floyd is also a grandson of the legendary late Willie B.

Welcome Hamlet the warthog
Hamlet, a 19-month-old male warthog, joined the African Savanna in October. Hamlet arrived as a companion for female warthog Eleanor.

Welcome Chica and Spot the meerkats
Female meerkats Chica and Spot became the newest members of the African Savanna in November. The females joined males Kingsley, Littlefoot, Petrie and Spike to create a new mob of six.

A banner year for birds
The Bird Team welcomed numerous hatchlings in 2020, many representing the first time their species had ever hatched at Zoo Atlanta. Species included but were not limited to wattled crane; blue-crowned laughingthrush; crested wood partridge; azure-winged magpie; gold-breasted starling; spotted dikkop; sunbittern; pied pigeon; and superb starling.

Another successful “terrapin swap”
Zoo Atlanta welcomed 25 hatchling diamondback terrapins to the Georgia Tidal Creek habitat in Scaly Slimy Spectacular in September. The hatchlings are at Zoo Atlanta through the Zoo’s support of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center’s Jekyll Island Causeway Conservation Program, which works to raise awareness of and mitigate the threats to this native Georgia species. Zoo Atlanta supports the program by rearing young terrapins hatched from eggs from females killed or injured by automobile collisions; when the terrapins are around a year old, they are returned to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, which prepares them for release into the wild.

Welcome Amari, Kambera and Shalia the western lowland gorillas
In an exciting recent announcement in a year of animal highlights, Zoo Atlanta welcomed three female western lowland gorillas, Amari, Kambera, and Shalia, in December. Although they are not yet visible to Members and guests, the females have been recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Gorilla Species Survival Plan® (SSP) to form a new troop with bachelor male Willie B., Jr.

Thank you for your support of Zoo Atlanta, and stay tuned for more milestones in 2021! Your support helps to ensure the superior care of more than 1,000 animals from around the world and contributes to vital conservation programs for their counterparts in the wild.

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