The gorillas are coming!

Later this month, the Houston Zoo will unveil its $28 million Gorillas of the African Forest habitat-one of the zoo's most ambitious projects to date. The multi-acre habitat will house seven western lowland gorillas when it opens to the public Memorial Day Weekend.

The intricately designed habitat-one of the largest in the world-will hold the zoo's two groups of gorillas who 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.

Guests will be able to see the gorillas through many different areas of the habitat-from an arrival building with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the dry river bed, to an open boardwalk alongside the gorilla's naturalistic forest. Visitors will also see the gorillas inside their state-of-the-art night house.

The gorillas calling Houston home are two distinct troops of western lowland gorillas: a troop of male gorillas from Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in Columbia, SC. Chaka (30), Mike (23) and Ajari (14). This bachelor troop has been busy getting to know the day room and the outside backyard.

Zuri (31), Holli (25) and their daughter Sufi (13) arrived in Houston from the Bronx Zoo after a nine month stay at the Louisville Zoo. Binti (40) from Audubon Zoo was chosen to join the family troop as a part of the Species Survival Plan, an initiative to manage specific, and typically threatened or endangered, species.

The endangered western lowland gorilla numbers less than 35,000 in the wild. Their native habitat in central and west Africa is shrinking largely due to the expansion of mining and agriculture in the area.