Ndume joined the Gorilla Foundation/Koko.org in 1991, after spending his first 10 years at the Cincinnati Zoo.  Born in 1981 and already a father of three, 400-pound Ndume is Koko's intended mate. Ndume is also providing the opportunity for us to discover methods of dealing with aberrant behaviors. This information will benefit all captive gorillas. Koko selected Ndume from a number of available males (via "video dating"— see intro video below) and though they have been getting along extremely well, there has been no mating behavior to date. The main reason for this is probably because a natural gorilla group has multiple females for each male, and Koko has never had the support of additional females. The Gorilla Foundation is working ton a solution to help Koko and Ndume have a family, either naturally or via adoption.

Meet Ndume (video)



Full Name:



"Male" (Swahili)

Hair Color:

Black with silvering back

Eye Color:

Warm Brown


Approximately 6'0"


400 pounds


October 10, 1981 (Age 30 in 2011)

Place of Birth:

Cincinnati, OH


Uses natural gorilla gestures and vocalizations

Favorite Color:


Favorite Foods:

Peanuts, carrots, apples, potatoes, celery

Favorite Shows:

"Wild Kingdom"

Favorite Movie:


Favorite Toy:

Blue 50 gallon plastic barrel, phone books, cardboard boxes

Favorite Activities:

Eating, sleeping in the sun, playing chase

Family Members:

Many relatives and three offspring in zoos around the U.S.


For more info, photos and videos about Ndume, see:

Project Koko

Contact Us



The Gorilla Foundation / Koko.org
1733 Woodside Rd., Suite 330
Redwood City, CA, 94061
1-800-ME-GO-APE (634-6273)

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Why become a member?

Our mission is to learn about gorillas by communicating with them, and apply our knowledge to advance great ape conservation, education, care and empathy.

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