Norfolk Zoo has announced it is hiring the first African American gorilla at its zoo in Norfolk, Virginia.
The gorilla, called Jaleel, is expected to be the first non-African gorilla to be hired in the zoo’s 60-year history.
Norfolk Zoo said in a statement it has hired Jaleeel for the exhibit, which is being created to promote the conservation of apes in the wild and to showcase the zoo as a national attraction.
The zoo said the hire will allow the gorilla to participate in activities such as playgroups, and will also include the opportunity to interact with people.
Jaleel will be accompanied by an assistant, a senior curator and a team of gorilla handlers.
The announcement comes less than a week after the zoo hired a gorilla named Margo who has been training for months.
Joleel, who will be trained to perform oral tricks, will be working with other apes in a “wild and natural” environment, the zoo said in its statement.
Jameel will also learn about how to use a variety of tools including a stick, hammer and prong, the statement said.