Bokito, the gorilla, was 20 on the 14th March and we celebrated with a Bokito style party. Although he gets the very best of care year round, Bokito was given extra treats (willow branches, ape pellets and lots of vegetables) for his birthday and the enclosure was decorated with new play and climbing materials. Bokito himself got a special bale of hay with hidden sunflower seeds and hessian sacks filled with walnuts, a particularly popular offering. These both make gorillas to work to find their food. Bokito as the dominant male gets to select the tastiest treats, and only when he is finished do the other gorillas get to make their choice.
Over the years, Bokito has developed from a lanky adolescent into muscular silverback. He now heads a family of three females, five young and an adopted son. His job is to protect his family and he does this very well. He is a true family man who enjoys playing with the little ones and ensures harmony reigns in the group. Blijdorp is really proud that Bokito has achieved this despite his difficult start in life as a hand reared baby in Berlin Zoo.
Bokito has a second important task to fill as an ambassador for his relatives in the wild where the situation is not good. The Blijdorp gorilla family and the education around them plays an important role in inspiring our visitors to support the conservation of wild gorillas. Gorillas in the wild are threatened because of habitat destruction, poaching and warfare.
Gift for Bokito: recycle old mobile phones
Do you want to give Bokito a birthday gift? Then hand in your old mobile phone in Blijdorp. Bokito’s wild relatives are threatened with extinction but you can help!! Gorillas are found in the rainforests of West and Central Africa where they are threatened by habitat loss, poaching and warfare. Mining for coltan is responsible for much of this habitat destruction and loss. Coltan is a rare metal ore that is used widely in the electronics for example in mobile phones and laptop computers. So if you have an old mobile phone hand it in via our collection boxes. you can find these by the gorilla enclosure and at the zoo entrance (no ticket needed).