Tuesday, January 25, 2022 Jan 25, 2022
51° F Dallas, TX

GORILLAS Like You’ve Never Seen Them

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The Jake L. Hamon Gorilla Conservation Research Center is a spacious two-acre reserve where the Zoo’s gorillas enjoy a habitat much like the lush African rainforest that is their native territory, the gorillas at Wilds of Africa live in two separate groups, consisting of one male and one female in each group. And the Zoo hopes to acquire several more gorillas in the near future.

The interior trail of the gorilla exhibit offers peeks at gorilla lifestyle from a variety of vantage points, including camouflaged viewing blinds with mounted binoculars, and an underground bunker fitted with one-way glass. Through this unique design the gorillas remain virtually undisturbed and visitors are able to get closer to a gorilla than they may ever get in their lifetime.

In the center of the complex is a large thatched hut serving as a field research station where scientists conduct observational research. Because the hut resembles an actual field research station in the wild, visitors can see first-hand how researchers work on site.

The Dallas Zoo’s focus on research and discovery makes the gorilla habitat different from any other gorilla facility in the nation. For the first time, visitors have the opportunity to see the gorilla not simply as a magnificent, isolated creature, but as a natural part of a larger whole – a troop, a forest, and an entire ecosystem.

“Today the gorilla population in the wild has dwindled so dramatically that zoos have a responsibility to do what they can to help conserve this animal,” says Zoo General Curator Ron Kagan. “Building a facility that stresses conservation and research and promotes a positive attitude toward conserving the gorilla, its environment, and the earth’s wild places as a whole, will be one of the most significant and worthy contributions of the Dallas Zoo.”