Gino’s Legacy: After Four Decades, Disney Silverback Gorilla Continues to Capture Hearts and Contribute to Science

Over the past 24 years, thousands of animals have been named Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, but no other animal has had a greater impact on guests, cast members, and the scientific community than Gino, a land gorilla. 40-year-old western casualties. Approaching the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail window and staring at it with a 400-pound silver splash, for many, including our cast members and guests, is an unforgettable experience that ignites a personal connection. and a lifelong passion for preserving the world around us. as well as this magnificent species.

As an opening day animal at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Gino, under the care of our dedicated team of veterinarians and animal care team, is not only the oldest gorilla at Walt Disney World Resort, but is the favorite of many and an icon everywhere. the zoological community for its model of participation in advancing the care of animals of its species, the conservation of gorillas and animals around the world.

Commitment to Conservation

Disney Conservation is committed to saving wildlife and building a global community inspired to protect the magic of nature together. Since 1995, the Disney Conservation Fund has allocated more than $ 120 million to support nonprofits that work with communities to save wildlife, including the Center for Conservation and Rehabilitation Education. Gorilla (GRACE) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where they have been Disney animal care experts. able to share the best programs in his class to help gorillas in nature.

Capturing the hearts of the cast and guests

Despite his dominant alpha-gorilla status, Gino is often a playful idiot who likes to interact with the people and animals around him. It’s not just gorgeous to look at; pays attention to guests, makes eye contact, interacts with children through their habitat display panel, and often directs their behavior toward families on the other side. Gino loves being the center of attention and has an eye for cameras. In fact, millions of families were introduced to Gino from the comfort of their living room in the series “The Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom,” presented at Disney +, where the rest of the troupe tested the their cake-sharing skills.

Help the gorillas stay healthy

Building on the trusting relationships Gino has developed with world-class Disney animal care experts, his relaxed attitude and involvement in his own care have allowed his caregivers to train and develop important techniques that gorillas benefit from managed care around the world.

Gino is a bit of a pioneer as one of the first gorillas in the world to allow his caregivers to perform cardiac ultrasounds without anesthesia. Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in gorillas, and anesthesia can be an additional burden on the heart. Gino’s contribution has paved the way for a more accurate reading of his own heart health, and these methods have been adopted by dozens of zoos that have been able to train these behaviors with other gorillas for procedures without anesthesia.

Ambassador of his kind

Gino is a bit of a celebrity in the zoo community given his temperament, genetic importance and contributions to his species, so much so that he is the inspiration for the Gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP) logo. . Gino is genetically unique to the SSP in the United States and has played an important role in the responsible breeding of its endangered species. Gino has given birth to a total of 14 cubs, and with their offspring spanning seven states, these births go a long way in contributing to a healthy and genetically diverse gorilla population in managed care for future generations.

Dedicated father and troop leader

His tolerant behavior also extends to his family troops, making him a father and model troop leader. Gino still enjoys being abused with his younger children and has allowed them to stay in the family troop much longer than is typical of a silver back. However, when the abuse spreads to younger members, Gino will step in to protect them as a loving parent. Thanks to the tolerant behavior modeled by Gino, the caretakers of another AZA-accredited zoo where two of their children now live were able to safely introduce another male to their bachelor troop. These tolerant behaviors will continue to influence future gorilla populations far beyond Gino’s troops at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Celebrating Gino’s birthday

On December 30, Gino will celebrate his 41st birthday, and we will celebrate his incredible and shocking legacy with a king-friendly birthday party, with a birthday “cake” and fans sharing their favorite memories and stories. of Gino. Visit Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment Facebook page soon for more photos and videos of Gino’s birthday celebration.

Gino is lovely for all the above reasons and many more. He has fostered a personal connection with the millions who have found him, instilling an affinity for gorillas that has helped inspire conservationists, veterinarians and animal caregivers today and tomorrow. After all, Gino is a teacher in his own way, and Disney – and the world – is better at caring for and conserving animals thanks to him.

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