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Limited-time shirt fundraiser commemorates the late legend

Celebrate memories of the legendary late Willie B. with a limited-time Willie B. Forever T-shirt fundraiser for Zoo Atlanta. The exclusive retro design is available in a variety of colors, both solid and tie-dyed, and styles, including T-shirts, tanks, hoodies and more for a minimum donation to the Zoo of just $36.

Shirt sales are only available online through Monday, August 14. Learn more or customize your shirt here on All sales benefit daily operations to ensure the superior care of hundreds of animals, including the Zoo’s 19 western lowland gorillas.

The original founder of Zoo Atlanta’s renowned gorilla program and a cherished centerpiece of Zoo memories for generations of Atlantans, Willie B. lived at Zoo Atlanta from 1961 until his passing in 2000. He became the face of the radical transformation of Zoo Atlanta in the 1980s, entering the landmark Ford African Rain Forest for the first time in 1988. 2023 marks the 35th anniversary year of that milestone, which was shared with joy by thousands of Atlantans.

Willie B.’s newest grandchild, Willie B. III, was born to Shalia on April 24, 2023, and is the first offspring of Willie B. Jr., who is the only male of Willie B.’s five offspring. Willie B. Jr.’s sisters Kudzoo, Sukari and Lulu live at Zoo Atlanta; another sister, Olympia, now resides at another Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited zoo. All have since had offspring of their own, making Willie B. a grandfather many times over.

Willie B. III can be seen with his parents and adult females Amari and Kambera at Gorilla Habitat 4 in The Ford African Rain Forest, weather permitting. Recent milestones for the 3-month-old include the eruption of teeth and efforts to stand up by himself with the help of Mom.

Plan a visit at

T-shirt sales run through Monday, August 14, 2023.

Online only at

Rachel Davis
Director of Communications
404.624.2812 – office

Gavin Johnson
Public Relations and Communications Specialist
404.624.5980 – office

About Zoo Atlanta
A proud accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the gold standard for animal care and welfare, Zoo Atlanta has a mission to save wildlife and their habitats through conservation, research, education, and engaging experiences. The Zoo is home to more than 1,000 animals representing more than 200 species from around the world, many of them endangered or critically endangered. Highlights include giant pandas, including Ya Lun and Xi Lun, the only giant panda twins in the U.S.; one of North America’s largest zoological populations of great apes; and a global center of excellence for the care and study of reptiles and amphibians. Recent transformations include the African Savanna, featuring new and expanded habitats for African elephants, giraffes, zebras, ostriches, bontebok, warthogs, meerkats and rhinos; Savanna Hall, a state-of-the-art special event destination in the newly restored historic former home of the Atlanta Cyclorama; and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Plaza. For more information, visit

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