News Release

Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,

June 1, 2020


Western Lowland Gorilla Celebrates her 2nd Birthday at Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield, Ill. – Birthday celebrations continue for the animals while Brookfield Zoo is temporarily closed. Today, June 1, Ali (pronounced Al-ee), a western lowland gorilla, turned 2 years old. In celebration, animal care staff made special treats for her and the rest of the gorilla group. Some of Ali’s favorite food items are yogurt and fruits. With that in mind, staff created diluted orange juice ice treats with raisins inside and “frosted” with frozen yogurt and fruit.

At 2 years old, some noticeable developmental benchmarks Ali has reached include the body hair on her front side and inside her limbs is thicker and the hair on her head has lost its fluffiness. Additionally, the white tail tuft she’s had since about 1 month old is diminishing in size. Her musculature is also beginning to develop.

Animal care staff describe Ali as a feisty and very confident young gorilla, who enjoys playing with 4-year-old Zachery and 6-year-old Nora. Additional members of the gorilla family include Koola, 25 (Ali’s mother); Kamba, 15; Binti Jua, 32; and JoJo, 40 (Ali’s father).

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About the Chicago Zoological Society

The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by engaging people and communities with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. Its Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare is at the forefront of animal care that strives to discover and implement innovative approaches to zoo animal management. Brookfield Zoo is the first zoo in the world to be awarded the Humane Certified™ certification mark for the care and welfare of its animals, meeting American Humane Association’s rigorous certification standards. The zoo is located at 8400 31st Street in Brookfield, Illinois, between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and also is accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, and CTA and PACE bus service. For further information, visit

Photos (credit Jim Schulz/Chicago Zoological Society)

5424, 5431, and 5731: Ali, a western lowland gorilla at Brookfield Zoo, celebrated her 2nd birthday today, June 1.

5704: Ali, a western lowland gorilla at Brookfield Zoo turned 2 today, June 1. She is pictured here with her mom Koola.


Sondra Katzen
Media Relations Manager
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071


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