Endangered silverback gorilla welcomed to London Zoo

STORY: Courtesy: ZSL London Zoo

Meet Kiburi, London Zoo's new silverback gorilla

who was transferred from Spain as part of an international breeding program

Kiburi is a critically endangered western lowland gorilla

He's 18 years old and weighs 425 pounds

[Dan Simmonds, Zoological Operations Manager]

"Kiburi's arrival here at London Zoo means a lot. It means a lot to our gorillas here because it's really important that they have a silverback as part of their social group. It will also importantly allow us to breed with Kiburi. We've got a long and deep history of breeding gorillas at London Zoo."

His arrival in London was four years in the making after London Zoo's last silverback passed away

Upon arrival he was introduced to his enclosure which features a moated island, caves and a jungle gym

[Glynn Hennessy, Gorilla zookeeper]

"We're hoping that he's going to form a really tight bond with our females, Mjukuu and Effie. He's also going to have interactions with Alika and Gernot, our younger gorillas. And we're hopeful that we might even get some little baby gorillas as well in the not-too-distant future."

[Source: The Association of Zoos and Aquariums]

It was estimated in 2018 there were around 125,000 western lowland gorillas, with 550 of them living in zoos