two baby apes in honor of World Great Ape Day September 8

Special event honors gorillas and chimpanzees at the Detroit Zoo

The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) is hosting special activities in honor of World Great Ape Day on Saturday, September 8, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Detroit Zoo’s Great Apes of Harambee.  The event will include fun learning activities and zookeeper talks, providing guests with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of these charismatic creatures.

Zookeeper talks will be held at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.  Visitors will learn fun facts about the three silverback gorillas and 11 chimpanzees who live in the 4-acre habitat as well as details about the conservation efforts underway for these endangered species.  Activities will also include the chance for guests to prepare “breakfast” for the gorillas, use tools in a faux termite mound as the chimpanzees would, and compare strength capacities between great apes and humans.

“Events like World Great Ape Day give us the opportunity to not only honor these extraordinary animals but also share important information with guests about the threats they face in the wild,” said Scott Carter, DZS chief life sciences officer.

Gorilla and chimpanzee populations are declining due to wildlife trafficking and poaching as well as deforestation and habitat fragmentation from the mining, forestry and agriculture industries.  The DZS partners with the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education (GRACE) Center in the Democratic Republic of Congo, providing care for critically endangered orphaned Grauer’s gorillas whose parents were killed by poachers.