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About Our Troop

Dad, Charles:

Charles Born in Gabon, West Africa in 1972 and arrived in Toronto in 1974. Although Charles is now an impressive 186 kg (410 lb) silverback, he is actually quite shy and very peaceful. He is an excellent father but is in his golden years which means he is less active and doesn’t horseplay as much with his kids as he once did. Charles, like other silverbacks, lives with the constant need to be watchful of his group, ready to defend them with his life if necessary. In 1995 Charles achieved world-wide fame and raised $40,000 towards his new habitat with the exhibition and sale of his abstract expressionist painting.

Mom, Ngozi:

Charles Ngozi was born on March 18, 1998 to Amanda (one of Toronto Zoo's original gorillas) and Vip who both currently reside at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. She arrived at the Toronto Zoo in 2008 and was introduced to the troop within a few months of her arrival; she has become the most dominant female of the troop. Ngozi is a very sweet, gentle, yet confident gorilla. When Ngozi and Charles first met, there was an instant attraction between them. Ngozi continues to be respectful of him which is a very important aspect of gorilla behaviour. Ngozi's first baby, Nassir, was born on September 2, 2009 and her second offspring, Nneka, was born on January 10, 2014. This baby is her third offspring, Charlie, born June 7, 2018. All three offspring were sired by Charles.

Sister, Nneka

Charles Nneka, born January 10, 2014 to Charles and Ngozi, is a gorilla toddler and her personality is really taking shape. She enjoys interacting with familiar keepers but is shy with new people and will run to her mother for protection. Nneka is always busy: she likes to explore and examine her surroundings especially new enrichment items. It’s not unusual to hear her banging things together and making lots of noise while she is waiting for her breakfast.

Brother, Nassir

Nassir Born September 2, 2009 to Charles and Ngozi, is still considered a youngster, but he is maturing at a fast pace. Nassir was a great big brother and was very entertaining for his baby sister Nneka, often carrying her and playing with her under the watchful eye of mom. Although still a bit of a jokester, often showing off his playful side, he has the serious undertones that his mother exhibits and has a dominant personality, which should suit him well as he grows up to possibly run a troop of his own someday. Nassir currently lives in a bachelor group with Sadiki.


Charles Josephine was born in Gabon, West Africa in 1971. She continues to astound keepers with her intelligence: nothing ever goes unnoticed by her. Keepers have to be careful as to what they leave near the gorilla habitat, as Josephine is a master of fashioning tools to grab interesting things. She is usually good about trading back the item for a treat – but it rarely ever comes back in one piece. Jo is quite the protective gorilla, often sitting near the glass. She has quite a bit of silver along her head and back, often being mistaken for a silverback.


Charles Johari was born on May 12, 2001 to Josephine and Charles. She was hand raised by keepers for the first six months of her life due to the fact that her mom does not produce breast milk. She is very close with her mother and they share many similarities. Her bond with her mother is very similar to what might occur in the wild. However, living with her father, Charles, is very unusual: silverback males rarely retain leadership of a troop long enough for their daughters to become mature.  Johari can often be seen clutching a piece of clothing or stuffed toy that the keepers have given her; none of the other gorillas show any interest in these items, but Johari loves them.


Charles Sadiki was born on March 7, 2005 to Samantha and Charles, making him Johari’s half-brother. He is a very outgoing, energetic male with a very dominant personality. He is maturing quickly, almost as large as his father now, and will surely outweigh Charles within a year. As he matures, the hair on his back is starting to turn silver – the characteristic that gives silverback males their name. He is still in that in-between stage where he often acts like a kid but wants the respect that a silverback is entitled. He will make a fine troop leader one day. He currently lives in the bachelor group with Nassir.