new keepers help the animal get ac-
customed to its new exhibit habitats
and slowly, as with Mshindi and
Casey, their new family groups.
If you miss seeing Mshindi, you
are not alone. Assistant Mammal
Curator and Gorilla Forest Supervi-
sor Jill Katka and her team knew
Mshindi well and miss caring for
him. “However,” Katka shared,
“We believe it was the right time
for these changes to occur. Creating
the strongest and healthiest fam-
ily group for one-year old gorilla
Kindi is one of our priorities. With
the death of her natural mother
Mia Moja last year, the family group
of Paki, Kweli and Mshindi had
been impacted and the dynamics
altered." The other zoos involved
had their own unique scenarios that
led to a SSP recommendation for a
series of coordinated moves — the
objective being to create more via-
ble family groups for the health and
stability of all the gorillas involved.
We hope you will stop by Gorilla
Forest to welcome Casey. He will
be on exhibit periodically as he gets
accustomed to his new home. Ulti-
mately, the plan is for Casey to be-
come the patriarch in a family group
that includes one-year-old Kindi,
her surrogate mother Kweli, female
gorilla Paki and a new incoming
female gorilla from another AZA-
accredited zoo, creating a cohesive
family group for these particular in-
dividuals. Details on the new female
gorilla will be confirmed closer to
her transfer time.
Kindi may be off exhibit periodi-
cally too while she continues to be
introduced to the gorillas that will
make up her new family group. In
the meantime, you can follow
Kindi’s adventures and
see if she’s on exhibit by
Many of the animals at your
Louisville Zoo are cooperatively
managed by a SSP and some are
subject to moves now and then. As
you’ve seen, the process is complex.
“It takes a village” is an understate-
ment in this recent case. Only by
bringing a significant number of
caring experts together can we pro-
tect the future of these precious be-
ings. I hope you’ve gotten a better
picture of the whys and wherefors
so you can join me in becoming one
of Louisville’s gorilla ambassadors in
to play in Gorilla
Forest at the
Louisville Zoo with her
surrogate mother Kweli.
World Gorilla Day
Celebrate at the Louisville Zoo.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter
and at LouisvilleZoo.org for
remembering MAyor Armstrong
All of us at the Zoo were sad to learn of the
passing of former Mayor David Armstrong on
June 15, 2017.
When Gorilla Forest was opened in 2002, he was
there with us to celebrate the opening. "Children will be able
to see, touch and feel an environment they have only been
able to see on the Discovery Channel,”he said at the time.
“These lovable, gentle giants will capture the imagination of
people aged 3 to 93.” He was right.
Former Mayor Armstrong was a visionary who defined public
service. He recognized the importance of zoos and our role in serving our
community and helping visitors understand their place in preserving the
balance between humans and nature. I'm proud to have worked with him.
He will be missed.
(left) Mayor David Armstrong
at 2002 opening of
Gorilla Forest with then
Louisville Zoo Director
Dr. William Foster (right)
Louisville Zoo Trunkline • Fall 2017 • 7