2 endangered gorillas move to Fla.

Nov. 8, 2009 at 3:15 PM

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Nov. 8 (UPI) -- The Jacksonville, Fla., zoo recently acquired two female gorillas, members of an endangered species, to join one of the zoo's males, zoo officials said.

Twenty-year-old Bulera and her daughter, Madini, 13, rode for 19 hours from Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens in Jacksonville, Fla., to join Quito, 28, a male silverback gorilla, the Jacksonville Times-Union reported Saturday.

There are now five of the endangered western lowland gorillas at the zoo, part of the approximately 350 living in zoos in the United States. They are endangered, but are more numerous than mountain gorillas, said Tracy Fenn, the zoo's mammal supervisor.

"It's a huge move for us. We have always only had males," said Craig Miller, the zoo's curator of mammals.

The zoo added the females in an attempt to create a natural mixed-sex grouping, not necessarily to have them mate. But Miller said, "Down the road, we don't know what might happen."

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