Monday, June 10, 2013

Gorilla Foundation looks for transport cages, raises hopes for Ndume

Regular blog readers will know that I’ve been on the side of former caregivers who argue that gorilla Ndume deserves a chance at a decent life – away from his isolation under the “care” of Penny Patterson and The Gorilla Foundation. (See here and here and here.) We’ve been urging Cincinnati Zoo, Ndume’s owner, to take him back, and the American Zoological Association’s recent draft animal management plan for gorillas made that recommendation.

Is it actually happening? This note popped up today on Facebook.

Christina Herron is one of the two Gorilla Foundation caregivers who stayed on after the mass exodus of staff. Her note, posted on the Gorilla SSP Facebook page says: "Gorilla Transport cages. Does anyone have a company preference for quality gorilla transport cages? The sanctuary (sic) I work at is looking to update ours, but the company previously used is no longer in business. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!"

They may finally be moving Koko to Maui – or maybe, just maybe, Ndume is about to get a life.


  1. Nothing would make me happier than to see Ndume in a suitable environment, and with appropriate care. He deserves no less.

    1. I totally agree! Another indication that he isn't in the best environment is the fact that his caretaker evidently isn't professionally connected to, or involved in, the cadre of experienced gorilla experts. She has to post a question like this on Facebook? She can't pick up the phone and call a colleague? So very sad...

  2. No one involved with TGF, not Penny, Ron, staff, or Board members, are professionally connected or involved with gorilla experts. Any connection to the real world would expose them for what they are (and are not), and they cannot risk that.

  3. My guess is that the USDA told them they needed some way to evacuate the gorillas in case of emergency. Sure they ignored all the other deficiencies.....and there are many, but I cant see why they would need transport cages now since they have NEVER had a way to safely evacuate the gorillas. When I worked there, we were suposed to get them in our car and drive them to safety! I am hopeful, but if cincinatti was going to do the right thing, I don't think that they would rely on the foundation to handle transportion.

  4. They've always been more focused on funding for a baby, Maui resort, and bogus conservation efforts than basic (and ethical) gorilla medical care, environment, enrichment, and safety/security.

  5. Christina Herron has since disappeared from the caregiver list. At least ten staffers departed in a years time. Sad for Ndume, but that's all he knows. High turnover and more loneliness. We're gone my friend, but you're not forgotten.