Cincinnati Zoo Says Gorilla Ndume Is 'Making Steady Progress'

Jul 3, 2019

The gorilla at the center of a heated court battle is making his first forays into his new habitat in Cincinnati.

The Cincinnati Zoo says "Ndume" is progressing steadily. After getting him used to his new surroundings and caretakers, keepers introduced him to the indoor habitat this week.

The zoo tells WVXU the silverback inspected the entire space and seems to be comfortable there. The viewing windows are covered for now, but small holes will eventually be added so he can see who and what is outside.

Ndume remains under a mandated quarantine. Once that's over, he'll slowly be introduced to the zoo's other gorillas.

For now, the zoo says it is moving at Ndume's pace.

Ndume was introduced to the indoor Gorilla World habitat earlier this week.
Credit Courtesy of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

The gorilla returned to Cincinnati last month after spending the last 28 years at The Gorilla Foundation in California where he was sent to be a companion for "Koko," the gorilla famous for her ability to interact with humans. She died last June and Ndume had been living there alone since.

The foundation fought his return, arguing in part that it was concerned about his Balantidium coli condition. B. coli is an intestinal protozoan parasite. A zoo spokeswoman tells WVXU Ndume "has had multiple fecal tests, and there have been no positive results for B. coli."

The zoo shared this video of Ndume exploring his new habitat.

Last week the zoo announced another male gorilla, "Jomo,"  has a degenerative spinal cord condition. The zoo says it "unfortunately has no medical or surgical cure."