Ivan – Wild Within

Beyond the pages of the book and off the big screen, Ivan the gorilla has a larger story to share with the world about his remarkable journey from Africa to Atlanta and the incredible legacy he left behind.

Born in the wild, Ivan the western lowland gorilla spent the first part of his life raised by humans and later living in a shopping mall in Tacoma, Washington. He came to Zoo Atlanta in 1994. While his upbringing was unconventional and is now considered unacceptable, Ivan was given the opportunity to explore his wild roots at Zoo Atlanta for the remainder of his years before his passing in 2012 at the age of 50. To Zoo Atlanta and those who knew him best, Ivan was a fun loving gorilla with a few human-like habits and the heart of a wild gorilla. As his primary care specialist and also his friend, Associate Curator of Primates Jodi Carrigan knew him best.

Choose from two virtual options: a more intimate Virtual Classroom Conversation or a larger Virtual Meet and Greet with Jodi.

Programs will be hosted on Zoom – an easy, cloud platform for video and audio interaction.

A Virtual Classroom Conversation

This program is designed for individual classrooms, by request. Hosted by Jodi, one of Ivan’s animal care specialists, this presentation gives participants an opportunity to hear stories, ask questions about Ivan, learn about the care of gorillas in a zoological setting, and find out more about the conservation of gorillas in the wild. The presentation can be tailored to meet the goals of the classroom; designed for classes of up to 30 students and adapted to meet the grade level enrolled.

Request a Date

LENGTH: 45 minutes


Programs available by request

TIME(S): Select a start time from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

COST: $450 per session

A Virtual Meet and Greet

Designed for larger audiences, this event provides an opportunity to hear firsthand stories about Ivan and his time at Zoo Atlanta and to learn about ways to be an advocate in saving wild gorillas. Participants can submit questions in advance to be integrated into the presentation. Hosted by Jodi Carrigan, Ivan’s primary care specialist, this program is designed for school groups interested in knowing about the life of Ivan, the care of gorillas in a zoo setting, and gorilla conservation.

Register Now 

LENGTH: 45 minutes

January 28, 2021

10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

$300 per classroom of 30  |  $150 for recording of program after the event


Forage Like a Gorilla (PDF)

Gorilla Grooming (PDF)

Know Your Noses (PDF)

Gorilla Olympics (PDF)

Gorilla Paint-ionary (PDF)

Connect With Your Wild Side #onlyzooatl