The Saint Louis Zoo introduces a new gorilla and raises awareness for endangered species
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - The Saint Louis Zoo has welcomed a new gorilla to the habitat. 7-year-old Kayin arrived at the zoo last week from the Buffalo Zoo.
The zoo hosts three other male gorillas in what they call a bachelor group. Over the next few months, the zoo will introduce Kayin to his fellow playmates.
Heidi Hellmuth, the curator of primates for the St. Louis Zoo, said, “Anytime a new animal comes into the zoo, they go through a quarantine process. That’s to protect the new animal coming in, as well animals that are already here, from transmitting diseases.”
The zoo is introducing Kayin to another 7-year-old gorilla named Zachary.
Zachary only came to the zoo this past February.
Hellmuth said the introduction started with the gorillas seeing each other across a distance. Eventually, their enclosures were close enough to allow them to smell each other. The next step was putting them in enclosures separated by a clear wall. This week, they had the opportunity to touch each other through a small mesh window.
After becoming comfortable and friendly with Zachary, Kayin will be introduced similarly to the other gorillas. The zoo is unsure of when guests can see Kayin.
Hellmuth said, “The animals dictate the timetable.”
Gorillas are on the list of endangered species. Poaching, illegal logging, and habitat loss put them at risk. Recently the zoo helped the Republic of Condo establish a new national park, allowing for government protection of the gorillas and chimpanzees.
However, saving this endangered species can start right at home.
Hellmuth said, “One of the things that really threaten great apes in the wild is mining for some of the minerals used in cell phones. When you upgrade to that new phone, don’t just throw it out, recycle it.”
It only takes simple and sustainable practices to protect local and global habitats. Hellmuth suggests turning off the water when brushing teeth, using sustainably sourced paper and cardboard, and recycling.
Hellmuth said, “This world is amazing in the diversity that we have. By letting any piece of that go, we don’t know the kind of ripple effect that’s going to have on the rest of the world.”
Small tasks add up to create big impacts.
Copyright 2023 KMOV. All rights reserved.