Zoo Atlanta's Infant Gorilla Celebrates a Chill 1st Birthday with Ice Cakes and Playtime
Forget Netflix! It was wood wool and chill for Floyd the gorilla this weekend.
The infant primate celebrated his first birthday at Zoo Atlanta on Friday, July 24. The western lowland gorilla was treated to a habitat stocked with refreshing, fruit-filled ice cakes, and wood wool — a soft shredded wood that is Floyd's favorite enrichment item — for the special occasion, which the Georgia zoo celebrated early on Wednesday, July 22.
Floyd enjoyed all of his entertaining and tasty gifts 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. The entire group noshed on ice cakes, working to break the chunks of frozen fruit out of the large, shaped blocks.
Gorilla birthdays aren't unusual at Zoo Atlanta. Floyd is the 24th gorilla born at the zoo and is the grandson of Zoo Atlanta legend the late Willie B. He is also a great-grandson of Ozzie, the world's oldest living male gorilla at 59.
Floyd has a long way to go to beat Ozzie's record but he has the genes and support to help him get there. Unfortunately, in the wild, western lowland gorillas are critically endangered. Poaching, illegal hunting for the bushmeat trade, habitat loss, and emerging diseases such as Ebola have reduced the species' "numbers by 60 percent in the wild, with declines of as much as 90 percent in some parts of their range in western Africa," Zoo Atlanta shared in a release.
Zoo Atlanta is doing its part to conserve these amazing animals by participating in "the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Gorilla Species Survival Plan, which seeks to maintain a self-sustaining, genetically diverse gorilla population for future generations."