The Bachelor Pad

Three gorilla brothers roughhouse in the Detroit Zoo's Great Apes of Harambee exhibit


Published:

Photograph by Tom Roy

When it comes to monkeying around, the three Western Lowland gorillas at the Detroit Zoo take exhibitionism to the next level. The Bronx-born half brothers, Chipua, 16; Pendeka, 15; and Kongo-Mbeli, 14, moved here 10 years ago, but recently there’s been trouble in paradise.

The hair on the back of these males has either turned or is turning silver-gray with age, earning them the name “silverback.” A power struggle between Chipua, the dominant male who became a silverback first, and his youngest brother, Kongo, has ensued. So where does that leave Pendeka?

Pende, as he’s referred to by zoo staff, has no interest in politics, it seems. Rather than try to challenge his brothers, this middle child can be found challenging exhibit visitors, charging the glass, shrieking loudly, and enjoying the reactions. Despite Pende’s extroverted ways in front of an audience, those who know him best say he’s laid-back, sweet, and nonconfrontational.

The brothers live an eventful life in their bachelor pad, but compared to what their lives in wilds of Africa could’ve been like, they’re living it up in style. Because of poaching, disease, and destruction of their natural habitat, Western Lowland gorillas have become an endangered species.

So Pende is relatively lucky that all he has to put up with is some heated sibling rivalry.

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

The Way It Was

Better Made Snack Foods, 1971

Do Good

The Greater Detroit Philanthropy Awards are back with eight new recipients

AFP Interview Series: Nominee Tracy Utech

With over 20 years of experience, Utech and her team have championed funds that have seen benefit outside of Wayne State’s campus.

AFP Interview Series: Nominee Karen Smithbauer

A career as a preschool teacher and battle with breast cancer, ground Smithbauer's philanthropic efforts

An Hour with ... Faith Duede

Founder, Rocky Horror Preservation Society
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Top Docs List 2018
  2. Memories of Miya
    Citizen Yoga founder, Kacee Must Leeb reflects on her sister’s suicide, its impact on her...
  3. Introducing the Piekie
    These cookie-shaped pies win big on-screen and off
  4. Mending Migraines
    Nausea, excruciating head pain, sensitivity to light and noise: The oppressiveness of the list of...
  5. The Sixth Man
    A youth basketball coach teaches lessons on and off the court
  6. Seeking Support
    Like many metro areas across the U.S., finding a therapist in and around Detroit can prove to be...
  7. Therapy in the Digital Age
    New innovations that revolutionize traditional approaches to counseling
  8. Author's Cuisine
    At M Cantina in Dearborn, Junior Merino is creating a new kind of Mexican cuisine that is...
  9. Food Recipe: Chili
    Michael Keys, of Red Crown in Grosse Pointe Park, shares his favorite chili recipe
  10. Seeing Clearly
    The co-founders behind Genusee on making eyewear with a mission