February 19, 2020

Supporting the Gorilla SSP

Critically Endangered Western Lowland Gorillas Charlie and Curtis Will Move to Kansas City Zoo Ahead of Arrival of a New Male Troop in Early Spring


Denver Zoo works collaboratively with other organizations accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to support Species Survival Plans (SSP)—breeding programs that ensure healthy, genetically-diverse populations of nearly 500 mostly threatened and endangered species. This important effort means we often move animals to other zoos to be paired with new mates, or live in a facility that is best suited for their needs and stage in life.

In support of the Gorilla SSP, we will soon welcome a new troop of Western lowland gorillas from another AZA-accredited zoo. These three males, who are too old to stay with their family unit, will form an all-male troop until they can find a family group of their own—just as they would do in the wild. This can be a challenging situation for some zoos, however our Great Apes habitat combined with our staff experience and expertise will allow us to provide exceptional care for the new bachelor group. They are currently scheduled to arrive in early spring.

In the meantime, to accommodate the incoming troop, both of our resident bachelors, Charlie, 23, and Curtis, 24, will move to Kansas City Zoo in March. While we’ll miss Charlie and Curtis, we’re excited for their new adventure, and for our community to make connections with a new bachelor group and learn more about the species and how they can help. Guests are encouraged to visit and wish them farewell before they move to their new home.

Western lowland gorillas are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Their primary threats include logging, agriculture and poaching through their native ranges in Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Congo. AZA-accredited zoos help the species through the Gorilla SSP, which is an increasingly important insurance policy for the species as wild populations decline in the face of mounting threats, and countless other animals by contributing more than $231 million in support of conservation projects every year.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the most up-to-date information about our incoming group of gorillas and the rest of the 3,000 animals that call Denver Zoo home!



Be among the first to hear the latest animal updates, important stories and details about all the fun happening around Denver Zoo.


  • August 8, 2023

    Meet the Flockers

    FASHION INSPO FOR EVERY FLOCK PARTY PERSONA September will be here before you know it, and that means all…

  • July 10, 2023

    What’s New at the Zoo?

    July 10, 2023 UNBEARABLE CUTENESS, NEW PAIRINGS + CREATIVE CRITTERS Say what you will about our "Seattle Summer" thus…

  • November 11, 2021

    Two Denver Zoo Hyenas Test Positive for COVID-19

      On November 5, we confirmed that two of our hyenas-Ngozi, 22, and Kibo, 23-tested positive for the virus…