Gorilla Trek Virtual Reality Experience is the newest attraction at the Milwaukee County Zoo, and it’s now open for visitors.
The virtual reality film gives an unprecedented, 360 degree look at mountain gorillas in their natural habitat of Rwanda. They are one of nature’s most endangered animals, with only 900 of them left on Earth.
The Milwaukee County Zoo is the first zoo in the country to unveil this immersive experience.
Visitors sit in a motion platform and wear a virtual reality headset that transports them to the mountains and jungle of Rwanda. Participants can move their head around to see more of their surroundings, and come face to face with a gorilla.
“We are thrilled to partner with Immotion to offer this groundbreaking virtual reality experience to our visitors,” says Zoo Director Amos Morris.
“This one-of-a-kind experience is yet another means for us to engage guests to get interested and involved in the conservation of species and develop empathy for animals. It’s the Zoo’s hope that this stunning presentation on mountain gorillas will not soon be forgotten by all those who see it.”
Before the film, there is an interactive pre-show that includes videos of gorilla behavior, an in-depth comparison of human and gorilla anatomy, and more.
The film takes viewers along with world-renowned primatologist, Dr. Tara Stoinski of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, 10,000-feet up into the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Movie-goers will witness the behaviors of mother and baby gorillas and the drama that unfolds when a subordinate male vies for leadership with the troop’s alpha silverback.
This experience is brought to the Zoo in part thanks to world-renowned primatologists of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, dedicated to protecting gorillas while helping and educating the people who live near them.
There are only about 900 mountain gorillas left in the world, and it’s only through daily protection that their extinction has been prevented.
All types of gorillas in the wild are critically endangered and face threats such as poaching, hunting, loss of habitat, and forest degradation. Nearby communities are often impoverished, putting additional pressure on the environment, such as using the forest for access to water, firewood, or crop land.
Gorilla Trek is the latest virtual reality installation from Immotion, dedicated to “edutainment” and bringing together educational content and state-of-the-art technology.
The Gorilla Trek Virtual Reality Experience is located in the Otto Borchert Family Special Exhibits Building, behind Macaque Island. The price for the Experience is $7 after regular Zoo admission, with a $1 discount for Zoo Pass members. Tickets can be purchased on-site or in advance here.
Gorilla Trek is open during Zoo hours, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Labor Day. After Labor Day, the Zoo will be open 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through October 31. Admission gates close 45 minutes prior to Zoo closing time, and animal buildings close 15 minutes prior to Zoo closing.
For more information, visit their website.