Brookfield Zoo Welcomes JoJo to Breeding Program

JoJo has the potential to produce five to six offspring in the next 10 years

By LeeAnn Trotter and Ngozi Agomo
|  Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012  |  Updated 9:01 PM CDT
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JoJo the gorilla is taking over the breeding program at the Brookfield Zoo. LeeAnn Trotter reports.

JoJo the gorilla is taking over the breeding program at the Brookfield Zoo. LeeAnn Trotter reports.

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Brookfield Zoo introduced the public Tuesday to a new family member in its breeding program for the critically endangered western lowland gorilla species.

JoJo, a 32-year old male silverback gorilla from Lincoln Park Zoo, was hidden from the public for the past month to let him get adjusted to Brookfield’s female gorillas and his new home, Tropic World: Africa, zoo officials said.

And after a rough start, JoJo began to adjust to his new home, and introduce himself to his female companions, even from day one.

"Little bit of tension at first, but quickly that was resolved," said Craig Demitros of the Brookfield Zoo. "He was actually mated with one of the females on the very first day."

The female gorillas are still on birth control, but not for long.

"In the next several weeks, We'll pull Binti and Koola off birth control, so that we can allow breeding to occur," Demitros said.

They plan to take the youngest gorilla, Kamba, off birth control when she turns ten in about two years, in hopes of her giving birth to new gorillas as well.

JoJo was transferred to Brookfield Zoo in April in hopes that he will start a family. Breeding usually occurs in three- to four-year intervals, so in the next 10 years JoJo could produce up to five or six offspring.

Zoo officials say JoJo is a good genetic match for the three females.

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