San Antonio Zoo has announced gorillas are returning to San Antonio. The zoo’s last gorilla resident, Mopie, moved out of San Antonio in 1990 back to Smithsonian’s National Zoo. An area in the zoo void of animal habitats and experiences for over a decade, known as Tree Top, will be utilized for this one-of-a-kind gorilla habitat. The new two-acre area, Congo Falls, is in the final design stages, and the zoo is fundraising for the project. The zoo’s goal is to create one of the largest gorilla habitats found in U.S. zoos and feature unique spaces, vistas, and exploration opportunities for guests and gorillas.
“We can’t overstate the excitement we have for bringing gorillas back to San Antonio Zoo,” said Tim Morrow, President and CEO of San Antonio Zoo. “We are one of just a few large city zoos that do not care for great apes, such as gorillas. Many children and adults in our community have never had the opportunity to see and learn about this amazing species. They now will!”
The zoo’s Animal Care team is coordinating the placement of gorillas with other accredited zoos within the Association of Zoos & Aquariums through the Species Survival Plan coordinator.
The announcement comes just two months after San Antonio Zoo opened the new realm, NEOTROPICA, and announced the reimagined, redesigned, and expanded zoo entry, as well as the upcoming makeover of Kronkosky’s Tiny Tot Nature Spot, a $2 million, donor-funded project. The new projects focus on improved accessibility and safety, creating larger, more natural, enriching habitats, and general improvements to the zoo.
Continued support from the San Antonio community, donors, the city, and the county enables San Antonio Zoo to maintain and elevate its reputation as a world-class zoo, education, and conservation facility. As a destination city, San Antonio will benefit from the improvements and continued elevation of San Antonio Zoo as a premier “must-see” experience for all who visit through its economic impact.