Gorilla back in Cincinnati Zoo after long California stay


FILE – In this 2016 file photo provided by the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, the silverback gorilla Ndume picks up a toy at The Gorilla Foundation’s preserve in California’s Santa Cruz mountains. Documents in federal court in San Francisco show that The Gorilla Foundation balked at a June 4, 2019 return requested by the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, saying Ndume has a bacterial infection that could worsen during a stressful move. (Ron Evans/Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden via AP, File)

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Zoo says a 37-year-old male silverback gorilla is safely back home some 28 years after he went to California.

The zoo says Ndume (nnn-DOO’-may) arrived Friday morning and is settling in behind the scenes in its Gorilla World area.

The Gorilla Foundation in California was under federal court order to transfer Ndume on Thursday for a flight to Ohio. He was loaned in 1991 to be a companion for Koko, the gorilla famed for learning sign language. Cincinnati Zoo officials sought Ndume’s return after Koko died last June.

The Gorilla Foundation contended the transfer would harm Ndume. U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg in San Francisco ruled in February that the gorilla should be returned .

The foundation says it was sad Ndume was moving .

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