Animal Spot Light

We welcome our newest residents:
A mother-daughter gorilla duo

      Two female gorillas now call Hogle Zoo home.  They were sent to the Zoo to help socialize Husani, the youngest of our bachelor silverbacks.

Thirty-three-year-old JoRayK and her seven-year-old daughter Jabali came from the Denver Zoo. JoRayK was initially sent to the Denver Zoo from Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo to help socialize Jim, a 23-year-old silverback gorilla.  Jabali was JoRayK’s sixth baby and was born May 29, 2004. For her, the move to Utah is meant to mimic a natural behavior. At about the age of 10, young gorillas leave their troops to form new ones.

The Zoo also has another adult male gorilla named Tino. He is the Zoo’s only wild-born gorilla, having been caught early in his life, in the mid 1970s.

Are you fascinated by gorillas?

If so, you’re like the majority of our Zoo visitors who appreciate these family-oriented, plant-eating animals.

Gorillas are the largest of all primates — the group of animals that includes monkeys, lemurs, orangutans, chimpanzees and humans.

Although gorillas can stand upright, they prefer to walk using their arms, as well as their legs. Their arms are much longer than their legs, and they can use the backs of their fingers like extra feet when they walk, which is called a knuckle walk.

Gorillas are generally quiet animals. They communicate with each other using many complicated sounds and gestures. Gorillas use at least 25 recognized vocalizations, including grunts, roars, growls, whines, chuckles, hooting, etc. Some gorilla gestures include chest-beating, high-pitched barks, lunging, throwing objects, staring, lip-tucking, sticking out the tongue, sideways running, slapping, rising to a two-legged stance, etc.

Gorillas have no natural enemies or predators, yet these peaceful creatures are hunted for food and their habitat is being destroyed by commercial interests and agriculture.


2600 East Sunnyside Avenue | Salt Lake City, Utah 84108 | (801) 584-1700