Ndume lives in isolation at the Gorilla Foundation, as the rejected paramour of Koko, the famous “signing” gorilla. Ndume, stud #0776, was born at Cincinnati Zoo on October 10, 1981. He was hand-reared and, after an unsuccessful three-year stint at Brookfield Zoo, from 1988 to August 1991, Ndume was finally transferred to the Gorilla Foundation on December 10, 1991. Over 20 years ago. Contrary to the image conveyed by TGF's PR photos, Ndume lives in a trailer, lacking a companion, enrichment, or – obviously – a suitable living environment.
In its draft Gorilla Management Plan, the gorilla experts of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums recommended that Cincinnati Zoo bring 32-year-old Ndume back into the zoo population. Despite repeated requests by Ndume's former caregivers and others – going back several years – the zoo refuses to publicly acknowledge its responsibility to the gorilla who was bred and raised under their management. The zoo needs to act, now, to bring Ndume home. Give him the care and respect that every zoo-bred animal deserves.