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World Gorilla Day

September 24 will also be the naming day for the youngest member of the Zoo’s gorilla population.

WHAT:
Zoo Atlanta joins a global awareness event in observing the third-annual World Gorilla Day on Tuesday, September 24, 2019. As an added cause for celebration, the event will also mark the naming day of the infant gorilla born to western lowland gorilla Lulu on July 24.

Help name the infant gorilla: Now through 11 p.m. EST on Friday, September 20, visit zooatlanta.org/gorillanaming to submit a name online with a donation of $5 per submission. All donations received through the naming campaign will benefit The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, the Zoo’s longtime partner in gorilla conservation.

After September 20, three names will be chosen at random to be featured in the infant’s family’s habitat in the Zoo’s Ford African Rain Forest on World Gorilla Day. At 2 p.m. on September 24, the gorillas will determine the winning name with their first choice of one of three special enrichment items.

World Gorilla Day: Zoo Atlanta was one of the first organizations to observe World Gorilla Day, which is observed annually on September 24. The date commemorates the anniversary of Karisoke Research Center, operated by The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International. Established in 1967 by Dian Fossey, Karisoke is the longest running gorilla field study site dedicated to the conservation, protection and study of gorillas and their habitats in Africa. Zoo Atlanta has been a significant partner of the Fossey Fund for more than 20 years and provides headquarters space, information technology support and financial support for the organization. Over the years, the Zoo has also provided critical board leadership and program support, as well as shared scientific staff.

Partners from the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International will be on hand on World Gorilla Day to share more about their work for gorillas and human communities in Africa. Other World Gorilla Day activities will include an opportunity to sign a pledge to save gorillas; a chance to support conservation with a limited-edition World Gorilla Day button; special Gorilla Keeper Talks with the Zoo’s Primate Care Team; and an opportunity to learn more about Zoo Atlanta’s participation in the Gorillas on the Line cell phone recycling program.

Cell phone recycling admission offer: Guests who bring an old or unused cell phone to Zoo Atlanta on September 24 will enjoy $5 off general admission for up to four guests. Zoo Atlanta partners with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International and Eco-Cell to recycle cell phones and other electronics to help save wild gorillas by eliminating the demand for coltan, a rare mineral used in the production of mobile phones. Coltan is found in only a few places on Earth, one of which is the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

The admission offer is valid only on Tuesday, September 24, 2019, and is not valid with any other offer or promotion. Plan a visit or learn more at zooatlanta.org. Learn more about World Gorilla Day at worldgorilladay.org.

WHEN:                   
Tuesday, September 24, 2019  

WHERE:                  
Zoo Atlanta 
800 Cherokee Avenue, S.E.
Atlanta, GA  30315

CONTACT:         
Rachel Davis, Director of Communications
404.624.2812 – office 
404.309.2238 – cell
rdavis@zooatlanta.org

Gavin Johnson, Public Relations and Communications Specialist
404.624.5980 – office  
gjohnson@zooatlanta.org

ABOUT:                
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 Scaly Slimy Spectacular: The Amphibian and Reptile Experience, home to more than 70 species in the world’s first LEED Gold-certified reptile and amphibian complex. Experiences include behind-the-scenes Wild Encounters with 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 zooatlanta.org.

NOW OPEN: the all-new African Savanna, featuring new and expanded habitats for African elephants, giraffes, zebras, ostriches, warthogs and meerkats. The African Savanna is part of the Zoo’s landmark Grand New View transformation. Future elements include Savanna Hall, a state-of-the-art special event destination, and a new grand entry plaza, opening in early 2020. For more on the Zoo’s mission and conservation programs and partnerships, visit zooatlanta.org/conservation or download the 2018 conservation report, Beyond the Zoo.

About the gorilla program at 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. Twenty-four 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 surrogate. In 2011, the 50th anniversary year of its gorilla program, Zoo Atlanta earned 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. Research published by Zoo Atlanta staff has resulted in more than 100 scientific papers on gorilla behavior, biology, reproduction and 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.

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