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Save the Date for the 2014 Gorilla Workshop
in Atlanta, Georgia! June 9-13th 2014

2014 International Gorilla Workshop on Facebook

Gorilla Gazette

"Lulu, Columbus Zoo" by Beth Armstrong

..If you have worked with or currently work with gorillas you are one of the few, the privileged, the lucky but then you know that already.

The gorilla keepers and gorilla field researchers that I know are passionate about what they do, they want to make a difference. I too was blessed, when I began my work with gorillas in the early 1980’s - back when in most cases captive gorilla husbandry was to put it mildly pretty marginal at best. I was also extremely fortunate to have worked at an institution where a keeper’s voice was heard and listened to. That is how Gorilla Gazette began, an idea that was voiced in the Columbus Zoo Ape House one morning and then given room to germinate and grow. My fellow keepers, Charlene Jendry, Adele Absi and Diana Frisch and I all recognized that we were one of the few institutions that gave their keeper staff enormous freedom to implement their ideas on husbandry changes - anything from diets, to enrichment, to cage design, to gorilla introductions, to creating the Surrogacy Program. We wanted to give voice to other keepers by creating a publication for and by them, several years later Columbus Zoo would expand on this exchange of ideas by hosting the first international Gorilla Workshop - again with keepers at the helm organizing the conference. The thinking was and still is that keepers hold the key to understanding gorillas - because of their daily contact they are able to see changing behavioral patterns, the on-set of an illness, whether a mother gorilla is a doting mom or needs a bit of help raising her infant, they see friendships, subtle changes in social status within a troop - they see the big picture with all the pieces of the puzzle that make gorillas such fascinating wonderful animals to watch.

...For those of you who do not work directly with gorillas but have a fascination as well, I hope these past issues of Gorilla Gazette will somehow illuminate the lives of individual gorillas as well as give you a glimpse of the dedicated people that care for and about them.

Best, Beth Armstrong
Editor/Publisher Gorilla Gazette

 

Email the editor - Beth Armstrong