• WEATHER ALERT Winter Weather Advisory

Gorilla 'JoJo' king of the jungle at Brookfield Zoo

June 26, 2012 3:42:08 PM PDT
Popular western lowland gorilla JoJo is once again greeting zoo visitors -- and wooing the female apes.

The silverback male is on exhibit at Brookfield Zoo's Tropic World Africa. JoJo spent years at Lincoln Park Zoo, but was moved to Brookfield Zoo in April to take part in the breeding program.

"After a few days he was introduced to the females and his experience showed. He's a very experienced silverback. He knows the role of the silverback so he was just showing the females he was the new silverback in town and he's here to stay," Craig Demitros, associate curator of primates, said.

At 450 pounds, JoJo has great, rare, wild genes. That's why he's at Brookfield -- to breed with the three females and help save this critically endangered species.

"Well, both of his parents were wild born animals so he's very genetically valuable to the population," Demitros said.

And he seems to get along well with the suburban ladies.

"He did like the girls. The intro went very well. A little tension initially which is pretty typical of an introduction and then settled down very quickly," Demitros said.

Tuesday was the first day the public could see JoJo at Brookfield.

"His dominant personality is coming out. When he moved up onto his exhibit here he decided where he was going to eat and the females all respected that," Danielle Fogarty, lead keeper of the primate department, said. "He's the king."


Load Comments