News Release

Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,

May 31, 2019


Photo Captions—credit Kelly Tone/Chicago Zoological Society

5144, 5080, 1592 & 1587: Ali, one Brookfield Zoo’s western lowland gorillas, celebrates her first birthday by eating a nutritious treat!  

1531: To celebrate Ali’s first birthday, her mom Koola and the other western lowland gorillas who call Brookfield Zoo home ate a nutritious treat and were showered with popcorn confetti, one of their favorite enrichment items.

Western Lowland Gorilla at Brookfield Zoo Celebrates 1st Birthday

Brookfield, Ill. – Ali (pronounced Al-ee), a western lowland gorilla at Brookfield Zoo, turns one tomorrow, June 1, and animal care specialists celebrated her birthday a day early! Staff created tasty nutritious treats for Ali and the other members of the gorilla family and showered them with popcorn confetti, one of their favorite enrichment items, in honor of the big day. 

According to staff, Ali is one of the most independent young gorillas for her age. She’s been known to sneak away from her mom, Koola for playdates with her dad, JoJo. She also spends time playing with her big sister, Nora.

At 1 year old, Ali’s body hair has grown in thicker and she is filling out and becoming more muscular. She has most of her baby teeth and is eating solid foods, although she will continue to nurse for a few more years. She especially likes blueberries, but her favorite treat is yogurt.

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About the Chicago Zoological Society

The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by engaging people and communities with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. Its Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare is at the forefront of animal care that strives to discover and implement innovative approaches to zoo animal management. Brookfield Zoo is the first zoo in the world to be awarded the Humane Certified™ certification mark for the care and welfare of its animals, meeting American Humane Association’s rigorous certification standards. Open every day of the year, the zoo is located at 8400 31st Street in Brookfield, Illinois, between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and also is accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA and PACE bus service. For further information, visit



Sondra Katzen
Media Relations Manager
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071


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