Meet Gino, Animal Kingdom’s most famous resident and face of the Gorilla Species Survival Program

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — Like creatures of habit, every morning around 8 a.m. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the family troop of gorillas wakes up, climbs over the hill and comes in for breakfast.


One of the last members of the family to the table is Gino. And for some guests, he’s the main attraction.

He comes out for the morning, almost posing on top of his rock, creating a sight that tops the list of many Disney World guests’ itineraries.

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Gino is a bit of celebrity. The western lowland gorilla is the face of the Gorilla Species Survival Program. With his family troop, he’s fathered 14 offspring.

And park experts say he’s “a phenomenal dad.”

His extreme tolerance toward his maturing males allows them to stay within the group longer, so the youngsters learn longer and become better adult leaders when they move on.

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However, like most male gorillas tend to do, Gino has cardiac disease.

Cardiac ultrasounds can give good clues into heart conditions and can be done for anesthetized gorillas. But for a more accurate diagnosis, it’s better if the gorillas are awake.

Gino also gets other checkups, including getting his teeth brushed and rinsed. He turned 41 last December.

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.