CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has welcomed two new female gorillas.
Fredrika (or Freddy) is 43 and came from Zoo Miami in Miami, Fla.
Kebi Moya (or Kebi) is 26 and came from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
Both females join the zoo’s long-term resident, Mokolo, who is a 30-year-old silverback gorilla, as World Gorilla Day approaches on Sept. 24.
According to a release from the zoo, the two females were selected based on “an examination of their social experience and behavioral characteristics.” The social structure of the group mirrors gorilla social groups in the wild.
The zoo says the gorillas are in the final stages of a structured introduction process to ensure the success of their new group. Fredrika and Kebi Moya were introduced to each other and cultivated a bond over several weeks before meeting Mokolo. They are all successfully bonding.
They will be visible to the public in the coming weeks.
According to the zoo, gorillas are critically endangered, and fewer than 4,500 Eastern gorillas remain in the world.
The zoo is part of gorilla survival plan, which manages 350 gorillas in 48 zoos.