HOUSTON – The Houston Zoo welcomed three new western lowland gorillas, Henry, TJ and Leom, to the facilities in the Museum District.
The trio arrived three weeks ago, finished their time in quarantine and have been successfully introduced to each other.
Zoo officials said that, soon, they will join the bachelor troop with Chaka and Ajari, the gorillas already living in the habitat.
Henry, TJ and Leom can be seen most days in the Great Ape Gallery located in the African Forest at the Houston Zoo.
In a couple of weeks, officials said, the new trio will be allowed to explore the main outdoor habitat.
TJ and Leom in the outside holding yard.
Here's a look at the new additions:
Henry is the oldest of the group. He's 9. Officials describe him as very calm and cautious.
He has started to play with the other two gorillas and is usually found relaxing in a nest or hammock.
TJ is 7 and officials said he holds his left ear with his hand most of the time. TJ loves food and his keepers have yet to find something he won't eat.
He's the most curious of the trio and officials said he's usually the leader of the group when the three go to explore new things.
The smallest and youngest of the group, Leom, is 6. He's been described as having the biggest personality of the bunch and handlers said he can be spotted wrestling and playing chase with TJ or following Henry around.
About the gorillas
Although the new western lowland gorillas are native to central Africa, Henry, TJ and Leom were all born in American zoos.
The species is critically endangered and is part of the Species Survival Plan to ensure the future safety of the primates.
The gorillas are mostly found within rainforests but are being threatened due to coltan mining, agriculture growth, bushmeat hunting and human-transmitted diseases.