Thursday 18 January 2018

Dublin gorilla all set for swinging London

Jason O'Brien

THE gorillas of London Zoo will soon have a Dubliner in their midst.

He is relatively tall and certainly dark, but whether Kesho, right, who is being moved from Dublin Zoo, is handsome is debatable.

Nonetheless, zookeepers are hoping he will be a hit with the ladies when he joins females Zaire, Effie and a pregnant Mjukuu in London.

"The introduction of a new male into this environment is very precarious," David Field, zoological director of London Zoo, said yesterday.

He warned it could cause the death of the infant when it's born later this year.

"But we believe we are making the right decisions based on the expert opinions we have received."

Kesho who is aged 11, the equivalent of 18 in human years, will travel from Ireland before the end of the month, giving him two months to settle in before Mjukuu gives birth.

Keepers from Dublin will accompany him to London to make sure he settles in, and he will be monitored 24 hours a day.

London Zoo carried out a successful gorilla husbandry "audit" at the zoo after the deaths of the two previous males, Bongo in December 2008, and Yeboah in March this year.

It is hoped Kesho will also be able to mate with Mjukuu, 11, the youngest of the females.

Irish Independent

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