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Leon Charles Horton

curator, primates, Zoo Atlanta

Charles Horton has served at Zoo Atlanta for a remarkable 38 years, beginning in 1970 as a hoofstock keeper. Although his prior animal care experience also includes work with felines, bears, sea lions and birds of prey, the overwhelming majority of his years at the Zoo have been spent devoted to primates, particularly gorillas. Horton is best known as the closest human companion of the legendary late Willie B., who passed away in 2000. As Curator of Primates, Horton now supervises the care of Zoo Atlanta’s extensive primate collection, which includes western lowland gorillas, Bornean and Sumatran orangutans, drills, golden lion tamarins, guenons and lemurs.