First Birthday for Gorilla Monroe

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Monroe sampled goodies during Vila's birthday party in November. He's much larger now!

Gorilla Monroe’s first birthday is Sunday, June 17—Father’s Day, no less! He’s a busy little guy, about 20 pounds (9 kilograms) of sheer animation! Perpetually on the go, he runs all over the exhibit at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, playing with anything he finds along the way, occasionally giving Dad, Winston, a swat on the rear as he charges past him.

As curious as they come, Monroe can be spotted climbing in and out of boxes, pulling the kale or lettuce leaves off the bushes where the keepers have hung them, climbing the hanging tires, or checking himself out in a mirror. It’s also pretty amusing to watch him practicing his chest beating! At this point, his technique is really coming along; rather than arms just flailing in the air, he actually gets his hands to his chest most of the time.

Next weekend, the “little man” will get a big celebration. On Friday through Sunday, June 15 through 17, there will be extra-special enrichment for the gorillas, including an “ice cake,” at 9 each morning. Come to the Safari Park to wish Monroe a happy birthday!

Peggy Sexton is a lead keeper at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Read her previous post, 54th Birthday Party for Gorilla.

Here’s video of his first birthday on Friday: