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Opening of the Gorilla Rainforest at Dublin Zoo

The Gorilla Rainforest - Dublin Zoo

The Gorilla Rainforest - Dublin Zoo

In one of her last official engagements, President Mary McAleese opened the wonderful new Gorilla Rainforest, proudly sponsored by Freddy Fyffes, during a ceremony in Dublin Zoo.

In a double celebration, Dublin Zoo also announced the birth of another healthy baby gorilla born to first-time mum, Mayani, on Friday 16th September. The baby arrived just days after the gorillas moved to their superb new habitat. The animal care team is delighted to confirm the baby gorilla is female. Proud mum Mayani is cradling the infant close to her chest and both mother and baby are thriving.

The Gorilla Rainforest is the biggest and most exciting development undertaken by Dublin Zoo in a number of years. The 12,000 square metres of undulating topography was inspired by the lowland rainforest of western Africa, home to western lowland gorillas.

The largest of the primates, western lowland gorillas favour quiet, tranquil environments and the design of this incredible new habitat was strongly influenced by behavioural studies of gorillas in the wild. High, rocky outcrops and trees allow the apes an overview of the surrounding landscape, while streams and dense vegetation allow the gorillas to forage and move to private resting spaces.

Dublin Zoo has maintained western lowland gorillas for many years and is home to a breeding group of seven healthy gorillas, the most recent additions being Kituba, a baby boy who was born earlier this year and Mayani’s newborn.  It is envisaged that the troop will grow in size to between 12 – 15 gorillas over the coming years.

Speaking at the event Leo Oosterweghel, Director of Dublin Zoo, said, “Today marks the culmination of years of planning.

“Every detail of this wonderful rainforest has been thought through carefully to resemble as closely as possible the gorilla’s natural habitat.  This new home should encourage them to continue breeding and to encourage their natural behaviours giving visitors to Dublin Zoo the most amazing gorilla experience.

He continued, “We are especially pleased to have President McAleese with us today to celebrate as these beautiful animals enjoy their new home. We also greatly appreciate the support from sponsors Freddy Fyffes which is crucial to financing such a development at Dublin Zoo.”

Emma Crewe, Multiple Marketing Manager at Fyffes said, “We are delighted to associate our Freddy Fyffes brand with the new Gorilla Rainforest at Dublin Zoo. This amazing new habitat will be a must-see attraction for families and children and we are looking forward to being part of such a memorable, positive family experience.”

The Gorilla Rainforest provides a new and exciting experience for visitors to observe the gorillas in a natural environment. Discovering the gorillas requires patience and at least half an hour is needed to explore the Gorilla Rainforest.

Dublin Zoo is open seven days from 9.30am to 5.30pm. The Gorilla Rainforest is located in the African Plains which closes at 5pm during the month of October.


  1. […] baby gorilla born to first-time mum, Mayani, on Friday 16th September. The baby arrived jus… Ireland Travel» News Filed Under: Travel Tagged With: Dublin, Gorilla, Opening, […]

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