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. 

In this 45-minute program, students will have the opportunity to see photos and video and hear recorded stories about Ivan’s upbringing and time at Zoo Atlanta from Jodi while engaging with a live Zoo Educator to answer questions and learn more about gorillas.  

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LENGTH: 45 minutes


Forage Like a Gorilla (PDF)      
Gorilla Grooming (PDF)      
Know Your Noses (PDF)      
Gorilla Olympics (PDF)      
Gorilla Paint-ionary (PDF)

Available daily year-round

Select a start time from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. 


The program is designed for classes of up to 30 students and will be hosted on Zoom – an easy, cloud platform for video and audio interaction. 


  • Every group is required to complete a Virtual Program Waiver and adhere to our Virtual Programming Code of Conduct.
  • Educational Group Reservations must be made at least 5 WEEKS prior to program date.
  • Non-refundable deposit of $50 is due at the time of reservation.
  • Membership discounts do not apply to Wild Walks.


  • Payment is due at least 4 WEEKS prior to the date of your visit. Unpaid reservations will be cancelled if payment is not received.
  • Collection of funds and payment of all attendees is the responsibility of the group. Payment must be made to the Education Reservations Team.


  • All cancellations forfeit the $50 deposit.
  • Cancellations received less than 2 WEEKS prior to the program date must pay 50% of the total cost of the program.
  • Reschedules must be made at least 2 WEEKS prior to your scheduled program date to avoid fees.
  • Reschedules made less than 2 WEEKS before original date will result in the loss of original deposit. Another deposit is required.

Connect With Your Wild Side #onlyzooatl