Mzuri | Melbourne Zoo Gorilla

The most famous gorilla at Melbourne Zoo, Mzuri was born on June 3 1984, a son of Melbourne's second female, Yuska.

Melbourne Zoos' Gorilla group began in 1980 when a pair, Buluman and Betsy arrived from Taronga Zoo. Buluman proved to be sterile and so an IVF project was started.

He was the first animal to be born through IVF successfully which made news worldwide.

Melbourne watched with pride as Mzuri the gorilla passed infancy and matured into an adult gorilla and was heartbroken to hear that Mzuri was leaving Melbourne to take up residency at Jersey Zoo. Melbourne Zoo received hundreds of letters of protest to the transfer, reflecting the personal affection, and willingness to take action, that communities have to the animals within their zoos.

Mzuri, who is now a large, handsome silverback male, is doing well and he has just become a father for the second time.

He now lives at the Jersey Zoological Park, is a 25-acre (100,000 m2) zoological park on the island of Jersey in the English Channel by naturalist and author Gerald Durrell (1925-1995). Jersey is famous for its breeding group of Western Lowland Gorillas.

At about the time Mzuri left for Jersey, we received in return, a young male gorilla from Jersey who was a few months older than our Mzuri. That male, Motaba, is the sire of the current crop of young gorillas. Mzuri's mother and father, Yuska and Rigo* both lived at Melbourne Zoo.

In Jersey, Mzuri is known by his studbook name, Ya Kwanza and that name was used by staff here before he left. Mzuri was his media name. It is interesting that when Melbourne Zoo keepers have visited him in Jersey, he has recognized them immediately, so he hasn't forgotten his past!

Rigo* - Male, born 1970 - 2013
Yuska - Female, born 1971
G-Anne - Female, born 1979
Julia - Female, born 1982
Motaba - Male, born 1983
Yadumu (Yakkini) - Male, born 1999
Johari - Female, born 2000
Ghubari - Male, born 2000


Rigo, the Silverback Western Lowland Gorilla and father of Mzuri, sadly died on Thursday 18th July 2013 at 8:40am of heart failure.

❊ Address & Contact ❊

Mzuri | Melbourne Zoo Gorilla⊜ Elliott Avenue Parkville | Map
Elliott AvenueParkville

❊ Web Links ❊

Mzuri | Melbourne Zoo Gorilla

Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust

❊ Also See... ❊

Melbourne Zoo - Closed

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