BOSTON – A Boston zoo is holding a farewell party for a beloved gorilla that’s heading to another zoo in New Orleans to start his own family.
Officials at the Franklin Park Zoo on Saturday will be celebrating Okpara, a 24-year-old male Western lowland gorilla affectionately called “Okie.” He will soon be heading to the Audubon Zoo in Louisiana.
The Boston zoo is inviting patrons to sign a farewell card, enjoy free cake and learn about gorilla conservation.
Okie’s move is part of the zoo’s participation in the national Gorilla Species Survival Plan, an inter-zoo program meant to ensure survival of the species.
Western lowland gorillas are considered critically endangered in the wild. They’re found in Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Congo, Angola, Central African Republic and Nigeria.