This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.NEW ORLEANS — Okpara, a Western lowland gorilla, is settling into his new home at Audubon Zoo. His recent move from Franklin Park Zoo is an integral piece of a larger plan to help bolster the population of this critically endangered species. Since early December, the 24-year-old male silverback gorilla, affectionately known as “Okie,” has resided behind the scenes as animal care providers and veterinary staff completed a standard quarantine protocol to ensure that new arrivals like Okpara don’t bring health-related problems with them that could cause problems for the existing animals under Audubon’s care. “With any new animal – whether it’s a reptile, a bird or a mammal – they must go through a diagnostic process,’’ said Courtney Eparvier, curator of primates at Audubon Zoo. During a quarantine, Audubon Zoo veterinary staff take fecal samples looking for parasites, administer a TB test and perform blood analysis that can reveal evidence of an infectious or contagious disease or virus an animal may have been exposed to. “All zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) are expected to have quarantine protocols for incoming animals,’’ said Dr. Robert MacLean, Audubon Nature Institute senior veterinarian. The quarantine also provides a valuable settling-in period for a new arrival and the Audubon team of animal care professionals. Okpara is joining another recent arrival – Tumani, a 10-year-old female Western lowland gorilla from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo – and Praline, a female who is the last gorilla born at Audubon Zoo 21 years ago. Eparvier, Audubon’s primate curator, said Okpara has adapted well to his new environment.