LouisvilleKY’s favorite baby gorilla is growing up

Gorilla Kindi Turns Two

Louisville, KY., – The Louisville Zoo will celebrate infant gorilla Kindi’s 2nd birthday with a public celebration on Saturday, March 17 at 11 a.m. in Gorilla Forest. Kindi’s official birthday is March 14.

 To celebrate, Kindi and her surrogate mother Kweli will receive special birthday treats made by their keepers, fun enrichment items and, of course, Zoo guests will be invited to sing “Happy Birthday.”

 kindii gorilla


Kindi was born via emergency cesarean section on March 14, 2016. Sadly, her mother, Mia Moja, passed away a little after 8 a.m. on Tuesday, March 15 from complications. Gorilla Forest keepers spent the following months caring for Kindi acting as surrogate mothers teaching her what it meant to be a gorilla. Keepers wore furry vests that provided a gorilla feel and something to grip as infant gorilla hang on to their mothers for transport, they also mimicked gorilla movements and vocalizations and bottle fed Kindi. Once Kindi reached certain milestones, she was introduced to her gorilla surrogate Kweli. The two have been together since August of 2016. “Kindi” means squirrel in Swahili which is what keepers used to call her mother Mia Moja.


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The Louisville Zoo, a non-profit organization and state zoo of Kentucky, is dedicated to bettering the bond between people and our planet by providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and leadership in scientific research and conservation education. The Zoo is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).