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Welcome Enwe

Enwe will join what is now the only zoological population of drills in the U.S.

Zoo Atlanta welcomes a new ambassador for an endangered species back to his birthplace. Enwe, a 15-year-old male drill, arrived in Atlanta from the Detroit Zoo and has recently begun exploring his new habitat in the Zoo’s Monkeys of Makokou complex. Zoo Atlanta is now the only accredited zoological organization in the U.S. to house this species.

Born July 21, 2002, to female Inge and the late Adonis at Zoo Atlanta, Enwe traveled to Detroit Zoo in 2008. Drills are highly social primates, and Enwe will join one of two drill groups living at Zoo Atlanta. These groups include Enwe’s mother, Inge; females Achi, Amaka and Drew; and male Bobby.

“We are excited to see Enwe’s story has come full-circle since he was born here at Zoo Atlanta. His arrival also gives us an opportunity to tell another story about a species that is greatly in need of conservation action and awareness,” said Hayley Murphy, DVM, Vice President of Animal Divisions. “The drill is a model example of a species that’s directly impacted by choices we make in our daily lives. That’s an important connection for our Members and guests to be able to make.”

A distinctive large monkey species related to baboons, drills are among Africa’s most endangered primates. They now occupy a global range that, at 35,000 square kilometers, is smaller than the size of Switzerland. Their survival depends on large, undisturbed swaths of rainforest habitat, a significant amount of which has been destroyed for illegal logging and slash-and-burn agriculture. Additional threats include poaching for the bushmeat trade.

Drills were considered to be on the brink of extinction in the 1980s, but conservation efforts are underway to rescue individuals and bolster Africa’s remaining drill populations. The Pandrillus Foundation’s Drill Ranch is one of three 2018-2019 efforts supported by Zoo Atlanta’s Quarters for Conservation initiative, which donates 25 cents of every general admission ticket to projects for wildlife. Thanks to rescue and rehabilitation efforts and managed breeding programs, the Drill Ranch is now home to more than 500 drills, with a goal of releasing animals back into the wild. The program also assists the surrounding community by providing livelihoods, training and healthcare for local people.

Habitat loss from deforestation is a threat faced around the world by endangered and critically endangered species that rely on forest habitats for their survival. Zoo Atlanta is a vocal advocate for conscientious consumerism to lessen and prevent the unsustainable exploitation of wood and other products from wild environments. Look for the Forest Stewardship Council logo on wood and paper products to ensure that products were sustainably sourced with practices that do not have a negative impact on biodiversity.

As Enwe is still acclimating to his new environment, there is not yet a guarantee of seeing him. Visit our website to learn more about drills or to plan a visit. Follow #TakeoverTuesday on Zoo Atlanta Facebook, Instagram and Twitter on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, to join members of the Zoo’s Primate Team for a behind-the-scenes look at the care of this species.


Rachel Davis
Director of Communications
404.624.2812 – office
404.309.2238 – cell

Gavin Johnson
Public Relations & Communications Specialist
404.624.5980 – office

About Zoo Atlanta
Viewed as one of the finest zoological institutions in the U.S. and a proud accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Zoo Atlanta has a mission to inspire value and preservation of wildlife through a unique mix of education and outdoor family experiences. From well-known native wildlife to critically endangered species on the brink of extinction, the Zoo offers memorable close encounters with more than 1,000 animals from around the world. Zoo highlights include giant pandas, including Ya Lun and Xi Lun, a set of twins born to Lun Lun on September 3, 2016; 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. Scaly Slimy Spectacular: The Amphibian and Reptile Experience, featuring more than 70 species in a 111,000 square-foot complex, is the world’s first LEED Gold-certified reptile and amphibian exhibit. The Zoo’s newest experience, Treetop Trail presented by Kaiser Permanente, opened in March 2017. Up-close-and-personal animal experiences include behind-the-scenes Wild Encounters with African elephants, African lions, Aldabra giant tortoises, giant pandas and lemurs. Zoo Atlanta is open year-round with the exceptions of Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Keeper talks, interactive wildlife presentations, education programs and special events run year-round. For more information, visit

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