Objects and Stories
Mok the Gorilla
What is it?
This is the skull of a young male gorilla, affectionately named 'Mo Koundje' or simply 'Mok'.
What is it made of?
The skull is made of bone.
When was it made?
Well, it wasn't exactly 'made', but Mok died in London Zoo in 1938. He was 7 years old.
Where is it from?
Mok was caught in a trap in Africa and first shipped to Paris. He lived in a cage in the lobby of a Parisian Hotel for a while before moving to London Zoo. He lived with his mate for a few years in London but died shortly after she did in captivity.
How did it get to Leeds?
Mok was bought by a collector (Mr M A Capagorry) who had Mok stuffed. In the 1930s, Leeds often bought material from London Zoo. Mok's death was big news in the national papers and so Leeds knew they could ask for him.
Mok is now on display at Leeds City Museum. His skeleton can be found at the Leeds Museums Discovery Centre where he is often used for educational purposes.