April 21, 1981 The new Great Ape House at the National Zoological Park opens to the public. The exhibit houses the Zoo’s four gorillas and four orangutans. The animals are housed behind a protective glass barrier because apes are highly susceptible to human infectious diseases and must be kept away from the visitors.
Sept. 12, 2016 marked the first time in 25 years that a Bornean orangutan was born at the National Zoo. The male infant, named Redd, was born to 19-year-old parents Batang and Kyle following a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan.
Currently, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo is home to seven orangutans, including baby Redd, and six western lowland gorillas. Based on recommendations from the Gorilla Species Survival Plan, the zoo manages one gorilla troop, and one bachelor group. The two groups alternate indoor and outdoor space, depending on the time of day and the weather. Meet the gorillas >>
Posted: 21 April 2017