Philadelphia Zoo and Global Community Support GRACE


On August 26, 2016 Philadelphia Zoo welcomed a newborn female western lowland gorilla into its primate family. Shortly thereafter, the Zoo enlisted the help of the global community to help name the newborn through a donate-to-vote naming opportunity, with the goal to raise funds in support of orphaned gorillas at the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center (GRACE). Philadelphia Zoo staff chose from a list of names of gorillas that currently live at GRACE and online voters were asked to donate a minimum of $1.00 per vote with all proceeds benefitting GRACE.

Over the course of the campaign, Philadelphia Zoo was humbled by online voters who donated $6,600 to name the Zoo’s new addition and support GRACE. The Zoo then matched donations dollar for dollar with the total donation amount to GRACE reaching $13,200.

After an overwhelming number of votes from the community, the name “Amani” won in a landslide. Amani means “peace” in Swahili, one of the languages spoken in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Amani is named after an 8-year-old gorilla that lives at GRACE who was rescued in 2009 as part of a 3-month investigation by the Congolese wildlife authority. Philadelphia Zoo is grateful for the privilege to help support an institution like GRACE and even more appreciative for the opportunity to connect the Zoo community with Amani and the gorillas at GRACE.