May 20, 2024

MILWAUKEEThe Milwaukee County Zoo has announced that male silverback gorilla Azizi, 20, can be seen with his new family unit in the Stearns Family Apes of Africa building.

Azizi arrived at the Milwaukee County Zoo on Jan. 10 from Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago.

For the first time, he’s now leading a family troop, which includes females Dotty, 19, and Nadami, 13. The troop will be in the indoor habitat daily.

According to a press release from the zoo, the family unit has had access to the indoor habitat for several days now, and the animal care team shares that during his initial few hours, Azizi first spent time “patrolling” the new space and checking for any threats that the new habitat could pose for his females. He then began to settle in, being comfortable enough to relax and take a nap, but always with a protective eye on Dotty and Nadami.

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Zookeepers note that the trio is “very solid and tight knit.” Nadami is particularly intrigued by Azizi and will follow him around and often touch him to get his attention — but Azizi is still very patient with her.

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Western lowland gorillas are native to the Congo Basin of Africa and listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). Azizi’s transfer to MCZ was facilitated with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Western Lowland Gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP). He is genetically a very good match for Dotty and Nadami, and a future breeding recommendation is likely.

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