Zoo Atlanta Hosts the International Gorilla Workshop
Friday, June 6, 2014
More than 160 minds from around the world will join to focus on a future for gorillas
More than 160 experts from the zoological and conservation communities are expected to converge at the International Gorilla Workshop, hosted by Zoo Atlanta from June 8 to June 13, 2014. The event will gather primate care professionals and curators, veterinarians, researchers and conservationists from around the world as they join to discuss successes, challenges and issues facing gorillas living in zoological settings and in the wild.
“It’s a tremendous honor to have Zoo Atlanta host this global event. The International Gorilla Workshop will bring together preeminent minds from around the globe as they take the week to share, learn, brainstorm, and collaborate toward the common good of gorillas, both in zoos and in the wild,” said Raymond B. King, President and CEO. “Given Zoo Atlanta’s long history of international leadership in the care and study of gorillas, we’re proud to welcome our colleagues as we work together to make an impact on the lives of these rare great apes.”
The week-long workshop will include talks, panels and educational sessions on gorilla husbandry and management, training, veterinary care, cardiovascular health, disease, research, conservation, geriatric care and social behavior and group dynamics. A number of the week’s presentations will be led by Zoo Atlanta staff.
“We’re very excited about hosting the workshop, but we’re even more excited about the possibilities that arise when people like these come together and get serious about solutions affecting the lives of both zoo-born and wild gorillas,” said Hayley Murphy, DVM, the Zoo’s Director of Veterinary Services and Director of the Great Ape Heart Project at Zoo Atlanta. “We look forward to sharing what we’ve learned as well as benefiting from the lessons our colleagues have to share.”
Zoo Atlanta is home to the nation’s largest collection of critically endangered western lowland gorillas, including three geriatric individuals over the age of 50. Research published by Zoo staff has influenced industry-wide improvements to the management of gorillas in captivity, as well as enhanced understanding of the species’ biology, with more than 75 published papers on maternal care and reproduction, social behavior and cognition.
Zoo Atlanta is the home base of the Great Ape Heart Project, the world’s first collaborative effort to understand, diagnose, and treat cardiovascular disease in all four great ape taxa (gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees and bonobos). Since 1995, the Zoo has contributed to the conservation of wild gorillas and their habitats in Africa by serving as the international headquarters of The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International.