September 22, 2017
Our Gentle Giant
- as seen by -Kate McMahon
The largest and most impressive western lowland gorilla living at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo is Ernie, the 35-year-old silverback. Ernie came to the Bronx Zoo in 2010 on a breeding recommendation from the Knoxville Zoo. He weighs between 450 and 500 pounds depending on the time of year, making him one of the largest silverbacks in North America. Looking at how massive he is makes it hard to believe he was once a little guy like his son Kidogo Njemba.
Ernie sired his first offspring in the spring of 2014 with female, Julia. He has since sired four additional offspring, and they currently all live in a family troop. Ernie has proven to be a great father who is patient and sweet with his offspring. Many mornings the keepers will find Ernie still in his nest with a couple of the kids wrestling and playing around him.
EDITOR’S NOTE: September 24 is World Gorilla Day. Celebrate by visiting gorillas at the Bronx Zoo or your local zoo. World Gorilla Day hopes to build appreciation and action for these great apes that are critically endangered in the wild.
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February 10, 2019 at 8:10 pm
HE IS JUST SO BEAUTIFUL. DO YOU THINK THAT HIS CHILDREN WILL INHERIT HIS HEART PROBLEM. I SURE DO HOPE IT DOES NOT CUT HIS LIFE SHORT. HE SHOULD BE AROUND AS LONG AS POSSIBLE. YOU ALL DO SUCH WONDERFUL WORK. THANK YOU.
August 24, 2019 at 2:47 pm
On my bucket list is to visit the Bronz Zoo and see Ernie. I live in MA but have family in Long Island. We were planning a trip this summer but when my mom died the trip was postponed.
Thank you for the show! It helps me visit with the animals all the way in MA. You guys are amazing!
February 16, 2021 at 4:33 pm
Ernie was very special. You could see a lot of intelligence in his eyes. He was great with the keepers and his kids running around. I think he thrived on being needed.
April 7, 2021 at 6:35 pm
I’ve been watching some gorilla families on YouTube from Japan and England.. Shabani and his 2 wives Nene and Ai and daughter
Annie and son Kyomasa. and Momotaro and his wife Genki and 2 sons Gentaro and Kintaro.. I’m amazed n blown away at how human they all are and the different personalities of each.. I’ve become a major fan of these amazing animals/humans..lol.. or Lope and his little brother Shufai and how close and caring they all are..well I’m going to the Bronx zoo next week with my Daughter and son in law n grandkids..can’t wait to meet Bronx zoos Gorillas exhibit.. I’m thinking I’m gonna be taking a lot of trips there to see these guys often to record n study there unique personalities of each of them.. see ya soon Bronx zoo