Disney’s Silverback gorilla Gino, is a 40 year old western lowland gorilla that has made an incredible impact on guests, cast members and the scientific community.
If you have ever been to Animal Kingdom and visited the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail, you might have seen Gino! After all he is one of the opening day animals and the oldest gorilla at Walt Disney World. The veterinarians and animal care team love him, he is in fact a favorite of many and an icon in the zoological community.
COMMITMENT TO CONSERVATION
Disney Conservation is committed to save wildlife and building a global community inspired to protect the magic of nature. In fact, the Disney Conservation Fun has directed more than $120 million to support nonprofit organizations working with communities to save wildlife, this include the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education (GRACE) Center in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where animal care experts have been able to share programs to help gorillas in the wild.
CAPTURING THE HEARTS OF CAST AND GUESTS
Gino might look like the typical alpha gorilla, bus he is in fact very playful and lovely. He loves to pay attention to guests by making eye contact and interacting with children through the viewing panel of his habitat. Gino also loves to be the center of attention, in fact he was featured in “The Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom” series where his cake sharing skills were tested by the rest of the troop. If you haven’t seen it, we highly recommend it!
HELPING GORILLAS TO STAY HEALTHY
Gino is a pioneer when it comes to the scientific community involving gorillas. He is one of the first in the world to allow his caretakers to perform cardiac ultrasounds without anesthesia which is huge since cardiac disease is one of the leading causes of death in gorillas and anesthesia can place an extra burden on their heart.
Thanks to this, Gino has paved the way for a more accurate reading of his own heart health, and these methods have been adopted by dozens of zoological facilities who have been able to train these behaviors with other gorillas for procedures without anesthesia.
AMBASSADOR FOR HIS SPECIES
Gino is kind of a celebrity in the zoological community thanks to his temperaments, genetic significance and contributions to his species, in fact, he is the inspiration for the Gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP) logo!
He is genetically unique to the SSP in the United States and has played an important role in the responsible breeding of his endangered species. Gino has also fathered a total of 14 offspring across seven states helping contribute to a healthy and genetically diverse gorilla population in managed care for generations to come.
DEDICATED FATHER AND TROOP LEADER
His tolerant behavior extends to his family troop as well making him a model father and troop leader. Gino enjoys roughhousing with his juvenile sons and has allowed them to remain in the family troop far longer than is typical of a silverback.
Thanks to the tolerant behaviors Gino modeled, keepers at another AZA accredited zoo where two of his sons now live were able to smoothly introduce another male into their bachelor troop. These behaviors will continue to influence future populations of gorillas far beyond Gino’s troop at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
CELEBRATION GINO’S BIRTHDAY
Gino will turn 41 on December 30th! He will be getting a party fit for a king complete with a birthday cake and fans sharing their favorite memories and stories of him. You can visit the Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment Facebook Page for more photos and videos from Gino’s birthday bash!
Next you visit Animal Kingdom, don’t forget to stop by the Gorilla Fall Exploration Trail and wish Gino a happy birthday!
Credit: Disney Parks
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