Update on Zoo Atlanta’s partnership with Dewar Wildlife Trust
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Zoo has opted not to continue relationship with north Georgia facility
ATLANTA – May 13, 2014 – Following two years of partnership, leaders at Zoo Atlanta have opted not to continue the Zoo’s collaboration with the Dewar Wildlife Trust, a 100-acre, Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)-certified animal complex in Morganton, Ga.
In early 2012, Zoo Atlanta entered into an exploratory partnership with the facility, which was designed to house gorillas, with the intent of examining the possibilities of the property.
“At the time of our original intentions two years ago, the Dewar Wildlife Trust presented an exciting opportunity that we were very interested in exploring,” said Raymond B. King, President and CEO. “After exploring various possibilities over two years, however, we’ve come to realize that it is not in the Zoo’s best interest to continue this relationship. While we have great admiration for the Dewar Wildlife Trust’s facilities and commitment to the superior care of gorillas, we’ve decided to focus our resources on making our own facilities and collections the best they can be, with an eye toward our long-term growth and sustainability here in Atlanta.”
Two gorillas from Zoo Atlanta, young males Willie B., Jr., 16, and Jasiri, 15, have resided at the Dewar Wildlife Trust since early 2012. They will return to Zoo Atlanta.
Zoo Atlanta is home to the nation’s largest collection of western lowland gorillas, with a nationally-recognized gorilla program spanning more than 50 years. Both Willie B., Jr., and Jasiri were born at the Zoo; the former is the namesake and only son of the legendary late silverback.