ATLANTA — While COVID-19 has canceled events, shut down entertainment venues and changed the way we live, it wasn’t going to stop a milestone at Zoo Atlanta.
Floyd, the western lowland gorilla, celebrated his first birthday Friday. He and his family enjoyed several ice cakes shaped like the number one and filled with frozen fruit. His presents included a large pile of his favorite play enrichment: wood wool.
Floyd is the 24th gorilla born at Zoo Atlanta and is a grandson of the legendary late Willie B. He is also a great-grandson of Ozzie, the world’s oldest living male gorilla at 59. Floyd lives in the Zoo’s Ford African Rain Forest with his family troop, which includes mother Lulu; father Taz; sister Andi; aunt Kudzoo; half-sister Merry; half-sister Mija; aunt Sukari and half-sister Anaka.
Western lowland gorillas are critically endangered. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, over a 25-year period, the combined threats of poaching, illegal hunting for the bushmeat trade, habitat loss and emerging diseases such as Ebola have reduced their numbers by 60% in the wild, with declines of as much as 90% in some parts of their range in western Africa.
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