Monday, November 12, 2012

RIP Kwashi (1982 - 2012)

Kwashi Silverback Gorilla Cincinnnati Zoo and Botanical Garden
Kwashi (1982-2012)
Kwashi, a Silverback Gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden passed away recently.

We had the opportunity to see Kwashi during our visit to the zoo. He appeared calm and meditative (like many of his species do).

RIP, Kwashi. You will be missed.

Kwashi Silverback Gorilla Cincinnnati Zoo and Botanical Garden

Kwashi Silverback Gorilla Cincinnnati Zoo and Botanical Garden 

Click here for more information. Click here and here to watch our videos of Kwashi.

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Gorillas in the Mist
Save the Mountain Gorillas


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Divers.

      Have you had the chance to see him at the Memphis Zoo....

    2. i remember when he was born. his mother rejected him, and he was raised in a human family. he was here for a few years before being transferred to another zoo. our local paper has an article: it seems he was moved several times (little rock, toledo, knoxville) and went to cincinnati a couple of years ago. i don't know why he was moved around so much. is that common with gorillas?

    3. I believe Kwashi was moved to Cincinnati Zoo to help with the Wild Gorilla Conservation efforts. As you probably know, Western Lowland Gorillas are an endangered species (only 175,000 are left).

      Facing an far more precarious situation are the Mountain Gorillas with less than 800 remaining in the wild as of today :(

      Click here to read an article on why animals are moved between zoos.


    4. yes, our zoo participates in captive breeding programs, and many animals born here are sent to other zoos as recommended by the aza species survival plan. here's an article about our zoo's gorilla program from 2010: .

      but to move a gorilla around that much just seems a bit sad to me and seems to me like it would be hard on the gorilla. i don't know if gorillas are generally moved around that much or if kwashi was an exception. it's hard for me to tell from information i see online how frequent transfers are or how long placements are stable.

      i know kwashi developed heart disease while in knoxville before 2010.

    5. Great to read about the Gorilla program at Memphis Zoo. Gorillas are intelligent and social animals. It would definitely be hard on them if they are moved around frequently and they have to adjust to new groups again and again while leaving old groups they have spending time with. I guess the survival of the species itself takes priority....

      During our visit to Cincinnati Zoo in September, the keeper did mention about Kwashi's ailments. I did not know it would be life threatening and would cause his death so soon..

  2. Is 30 a good age for a gorilla? I'm afraid I know next to nothing about them, B2B.

    1. Hi GK,

      Gorillas may live about 35 years in the wild and up to 54 in zoos. Considering these general statistics, I would say Kwashi died quite young :(