The Knoxville Zoo is welcoming a new family of gorillas.
Two female Western lowland gorillas, named Hope and Machi, will make their home in Gorilla Valley with Bantu, a 15-year-old
juvenile male who is already living at the zoo. They will soon be joined by Wanto, a 35-year-old male, from the Kansas City Zoo.
Hope, a 29-year-old female, came to Knoxville last month from Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Machi, a 36-year-old female, arrived in Knoxville Wednesday from Zoo Atlanta. She had lived at Zoo Atlanta since 1988, and was the companion of two of that zoo's most famous patriarchs - Willie B. and Ozzie - and is the mother of three offspring.
The moves are part of the were made on the recommendation
of the Western Lowland Gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP), which
manages the breeding and social placement of gorillas in zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA
It's hoped this family of gorillas will welcome another generation of the endangered species.
Hope and Machi are in quarantine right now, being observed and getting acclimated to their new home, but we'll be on exhibit soon.