New gorilla at the Toledo Zoo

Written by Healthy Living News. Posted in October

The Toledo Zoo is excited to announce the addition of a new western lowland gorilla to our troop! Sufi Bettine, a 15-year-old female, now calls Toledo Zoo home.


Sufi was born at the Bronx Zoo on December 27, 2001. She came to Toledo from the Houston Zoo this past spring on a Species Survival Plan breeding recommendation. After the standard quarantine period required for all new-to-the-Zoo animals, Sufi was slowly introduced to her new troop. Like any new addition to an established group, the process had its ups and downs, but the troop has accepted Sufi and all are now residing together on and off public exhibit. Other members of the Zoo’s gorilla troop are: 29-year-old silverback male Kwisha, 29-year-old female
Johari, 23-year-old female Kitani, and 14-year-old female Nia Lewa. Visitors can distinguish Sufi from the other females, as she is the smallest gorilla on exhibit.

Western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) are four to six feet tall as adults and can weigh anywhere from 150 to 400 pounds. They live in the heavy rainforests of west central Africa and eat a vegetarian diet of roots, fruits, and plants. Western lowland gorillas are known to live in the smallest troops of gorillas, consisting of four to eight animals, with one silverback male, a few females, young offspring, and occasionally a few young males maintaining a three-quarter- to 16-square-mile home range. Western lowland gorillas are listed as critically endangered and declining on the IUCN Red List for Threatened Species due to three main interconnected threats: habitat loss, bushmeat hunting, and human encroachment.

The Zoo invites everyone to visit Sufi and the rest of our gorilla troop on exhibit daily in Kingdom of the Apes. ❦

Mercy Health snow winter 2018