Opened in August 1963, the Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens is located on a 30 acres (12 ha) park near the ocean. It was formerly known as the Child's Estate Zoo. The zoo has been ranked numerous times as one of the nation's best small zoos. Keeping about 600 animals of 160 species, Santa Barbara Zoo is divided in six different theme areas (exhibits), such as Cats of Africa, The Forest's Edge or California Trails, between others. The zoo kept a total of three gorillas during its history, which were the first members that arrived here. They arrived in 1996 from Topeka and Buffalo zoo and they were a group of three captive born males called Max, Goma and Kivu. Max died at the old age of 34 years old in October 2003, and Goma and Kivu have since moved on to form family groups of their own.

Currently, the zoo houses two male gorillas, N'zinga and Bangori who came from the Gladys Porter Zoo in Texas. The enclosure for gorillas was built in 1996 and has three viewing area points. The first one consists on an overlook from a replica ranger station, where visitors can observe gorillas from a high part, it is connected, through stairs leading down, with the second viewing point, which is a glass-walled that allows a close face to face view with gorillas. Finally, stairs leading up takes to the research station.
Santa Barbara Zoo keeps a bachelor group of two gorillas:




Family Tree (Genealogical Chart):

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