U. S. zoo officials are taking on a controversial gorilla, but the animal is expected to remain in its enclosure.
S Fish and Wildlife Service officials announced Thursday that they will remove the endangered southern gorilla, named D.J., from the zoo’s gorilla exhibit at the University of Texas-Austin.
“We’re taking action because this is not an option for the zoo,” said John Hensley, a zoo spokesman.
The southern gorilla is listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Hensley said that the southern gorilla has been in captivity for more than 10 years, and there’s no guarantee it will return to the wild.
The federal government plans to euthanize the animal if the removal plan goes through.
“D.J. is the only male in the world that is being kept in captivity,” he said.
“It’s been a long time since any male was kept in that environment.”
The zoo will hold a public meeting on Dec. 10 to discuss the removal of D.j.
The zoo is working to determine what the best options are for conserving the endangered gorilla, Hens, who has been working on the project for more 10 years.
The southern gorilla was born in the early 1970s.
The species is endangered because of poaching and habitat destruction in Africa, the United States and Asia.
Hes said the zoo is not currently considering alternatives for the endangered species, including putting it into an experimental animal shelter.
The zoo plans to start a conservation project next year.