Gorillas In Our Midst

Gorillas in our midst: King Kong-sized murals herald arrival of new Houston Zoo home

Gorillas in our midst: Murals herald arrival of new Houston Zoo home

Houston Zoo gorilla street art murals GONZO247 February 2015
GONZO247 at the Downtown Food Park, where he's workng on his gorilla mural. Aerosol Warfare/Twitter
Houston Zoo gorilla mural artist February 2015 Mr. D. 2119 Washington Ave. 2
The gorilla mural by Mr. D. at 2119 Washington Ave. Photo by © Stephanie Adams/Houston Zoo
Houston Zoo gorilla mural February 2015 by artist Anat Ronen 3705 Main St.
Anat Ronen's mural at Richards Antiques, 3701 Main St. Photo by © Stephanie Adams/Houston Zoo
Houston Zoo gorilla mural artist February 2015 Mr. D. 2119 Washington Ave.
Mr. D's small-scale rendering. Photo by © Stephanie Adams/Houston Zoo
7Houston Zoo gorilla mural artists February 2015 Anat Ronen
The many tools of Mr. D. Photo by © Stephanie Adams/Houston Zoo
Houston Zoo gorilla mural February 2015 artist Anat Ronen at 3701 Main St. Richards Antitques
Anat Ronen taking care of some finishing touches. Photo by © Stephanie Adams/Houston Zoo
Houston Zoo gorilla art street art murals GONZO247 2
GONZO247 at work. Photo by © Stephanie Adams/Houston Zoo
Houston Zoo gorilla art street art murals GONZO247 2
A look at GONZO247's plans for the big wall downtown. Photo by © Stephanie Adams/Houston Zoo
Houston Zoo gorilla mural February 2015 artist Anat Ronen at 3701 Main St. Richards Antitques
Houston Zoo gorilla street art murals GONZO247 February 2015
Houston Zoo gorilla mural artist February 2015 Mr. D. 2119 Washington Ave. 2
Houston Zoo gorilla mural artist February 2015 Mr. D. 2119 Washington Ave. 2
Houston Zoo gorilla mural February 2015 by artist Anat Ronen 3705 Main St.
Houston Zoo gorilla mural artist February 2015 Mr. D. 2119 Washington Ave.
7Houston Zoo gorilla mural artists February 2015 Anat Ronen
Houston Zoo gorilla mural February 2015 artist Anat Ronen at 3701 Main St. Richards Antitques
Houston Zoo gorilla art street art murals GONZO247 2
Houston Zoo gorilla art street art murals GONZO247 2

Houston is going ape over gorillas.

Right before our eyes, large-scale murals featuring King Kong-sized creatures are appearing throughout the city. The "urban jungle" transformation is happening as part of the Houston Zoo's campaign to promote its new two-acre gorilla environment, "Gorillas of the African Forest," set to open on Memorial Day.

 The gigantic pieces will remain up for at least of six months as a collaborative project among the zoo, artists and business owners. 

The zoo recently commissioned five well-known Houston artists/muralists who are taking to the streets to cover walls with their individual inspirations of the seven western lowland gorillas soon to join the African Forest as residents. The gigantic pieces will remain up for at least of six months as a collaborative project among the zoo, artists and business owners.

So far, Anat Ronen is putting the final touches her painting on the wall of Richards Antiques at 3701 Main St., as is Mr. D at 2119 Washington Ave. Next to follow with their interpretations of the wild are Nicky Davis, Michael Rodriguez and GONZO247 of Aerosol Warfare, who began his street art creation today at the Downtown Food Park, 1311 Leland St.

Art lovers and animal enthusiasts are encouraged to follow along as the murals take shape.

"Gorillas of the African Forest" will hold two groups of western lowland gorillas. The primates will spend their days alternating between an outdoor habitat filled with lush landscape that mimics an African forest and a multi-tiered night house that includes private bedrooms, an artistic 23-foot-tall climbing tree and a behind-the-scenes outdoor yard.

The gorilla habitat, which also will house red river hogs, brings this most-requested animal back to the zoo after a 10-year absence.