Baroness Thatcher visits Gorilla Kingdom
Friday 14 September 2007
ZSL staff were honoured to welcome former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher to ZSL London Zoo on Friday, September 14th.
Lady Thatcher was invited to visit our new Gorilla Kingdom exhibit and see how the whole zoo has developed and improved since her last trip here 15 years ago. She toured Gorilla Kingdom, where resident gorillas Bobby, 23, Zaire, 33, and Effie, 14, are enjoying their spacious new surroundings – and certainly seemed to be enjoying the attention.
Development manager Bernadette Benati, who showed Lady Thatcher around, said: “She found it hard to believe she was still in London and was very impressed by the exhibit, commenting on Bobby’s glossy coat. Lady Thatcher was also interested to hear about the burgeoning relationship between Bobby and our newest gorilla, Effie.”
Lady Thatcher was also invited behind the scenes at the lion enclosure, where keepers showcased their ongoing training to allow some veterinary procedures to be carried out without anaesthetic. Lucifer, the male Asian lion, demonstrated the success of the training by approaching Lady Thatcher on command and standing on his hind legs to display his front paws for inspection. Despite being only feet away from him, Lady Thatcher stood her ground, proving that even the Zoo’s most formidable resident is no match for the Iron Lady.