ABQ BioPark Says Farewell to One Gorilla, Welcomes Another

Moves Are Part of Western Lowland Gorilla Species Survival Plan.

April 22, 2021 - The ABQ BioPark recently said farewell to one longtime gorilla resident and welcomed another.

Marcus the Western lowland gorilla left for another Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)-accredited facility on March 18. His move was recommended by the the AZA's Western lowland gorilla Species Survival Plan. The other facility will announce his arrival when his standard safety quarantine is over and he is ready to be moved into his public habitat. Marcus will be living there with three females and their offspring.
The 35-year-old silverback was born at the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens and had lived at the BioPark since 1987. At the ABQ BioPark Marcus lived with females Matadi, Nia Lewa and Samantha.
"Of course we were sad to say goodbye to Marcus, who had been with us since he was just a few years old," said Lynn Tupa, ABQ BioPark Zoo manager."Marcus was a confident silverback here at the BioPark and we hope he will take on that role in his new troop."
The ABQ BioPark also received a new male gorilla named Kojo from the Smithsonian National Zoo on April 14. According to Smithsonian staff, the 19-year-old Kojo has a lot of personality. The ABQ BioPark animal care team is excited to get to know him in the coming weeks. The BioPark hopes that Kojo will become the silverback (a mature male who acts as the dominant member of the social group) to his new companions Matadi, Nia Lewa and Samantha after an introduction period.
Kojo is currently being introduced to the females in the troop. The public can expect to see him in his new home in the coming weeks.
SSPs, managed by the AZA, aim to cooperatively manage specific, and typically threatened or endangered, species at AZA-accredited facilities.
Media: Download photos of Kojo at