Undoubtedly the most famous resident ever at the San Diego Zoo, Albert was a handsome silverback western lowland gorilla. Born in Africa, Albert arrived at the Zoo in August 1949 at about four months of age. He and two baby female lowland gorillas were hand raised in the Zoo’s nursery. As Albert reached maturity, he was moved to a new open-air gorilla grotto, located where this restaurant now stands. In 1965, Albert fathered Alvila, the first western lowland gorilla conceived and born at the San Diego Zoo and only the seventh gorilla born in any zoo. During his years here, Albert endeared himself to an international audience through his majestic stature, mischievous behavior, and gentle demeanor.
Albert died peacefully on October 18, 1978; however, his spirit continues through the conservation efforts of San Diego Zoo Global, the ambiance of his namesake restaurant, and in his grandchildren and great-grandchildren living at the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park.