Yeboah the gorilla wows the girls
Published 01/03/2010 | 20:51
Three female gorillas have found love again after the death of their beau left them longing for male affection.
The starry-eyed singletons appear to have fallen head over heels for their new exotic paramour - 20-stone hunk Yeboah - who was brought over from La Boissiere Du Dore zoo in western France.
Staff at ZSL London Zoo said the 12-year-old blackback was an instant hit with the love-struck ladies - Zaire, 35, Effie, 17 and Mjukuu, 11. And he has quickly filled the gap left by silverback Bobby.
It is hoped the trio, who have lacked male attention since December 2008, will breed with the German-born hunk who arrived on the scene in November.
"He's taken a particular shining to Mjukuu who seems to be his favourite at the moment," one member of staff said. "But he's getting on well with the others as well - he's a bit of a flirt all round."
Until now Yeboah has remained a blackback gorilla - a sexually mature male of up to 11 years of age - but he is expected to turn into a silverback as he learns to dominate his new group.
Keeper Daniel Simmonds said: "Yeboah's a very charming gorilla and is having to quickly turn from a boy into man now he's met our more experienced female gorillas. He lived with a silverback gorilla before he came here which means that he has remained a blackback gorilla - but that's definitely going to change now he's dating three girls at once."
Parents will be hoping that Mjukuu is more discreet than she was with Bobby and refrain from mating with Yeboah in public, sparing a few awkward questions from their children.
It is thought unlikely that Zaire, already a mother of one, will conceive because of her age but the possibility has not been ruled out.
A silverback is an adult male gorilla, usually more than 12 years of age, with a distinctive patch of silver hair on its back, large canine teeth which come with maturity, big, broad shoulders and a large crest.