Bobby’s new brown eyed girl
Friday 23 May 2008
She’s 5ft tall, weighs around 65 kilos and has glossy black hair all over! She may not be everyone’s cup of tea but ZSL London Zoo’s new female gorilla has certainly set one heart racing.
Mjukuu, or ‘Jookie’ as she’s nicknamed, is now a permanent resident of Gorilla Kingdom and she’s proving quite a hit with male silverback Bobby.
The newcomer is said to be quite the show off and flirt; not only does she enjoy stealing Bobby’s food but she is often seen walking around with sacks on her head.
Iona Stewart, a Zookeeper at Gorilla Kingdom, added: ‘It's a historic moment because this is the beginning of what will be a big group of gorillas which will be used for breeding. We knew we needed a socially adept gorilla to bring the group together and we chose Jookie specially because she is so confident. We are so excited by how well it's worked.
‘Jookie had only been here two weeks when she came into season and we could tell that Bobby had fallen for her. There was a lot of direct eye contact, which is quite a come-on in gorilla terms. They did a lot of playing and sitting next to each other just touching. Then it got a bit like a cheesy soap opera.’
Jookie, nine, joins the 25-year-old male gorilla and two other females, Effie and Zaire, from a group of eleven gorillas at another zoo, and it looks like her social skills are paying off.
Despite being ‘love rivals’ for Bobby’s affections, the three females are getting on famously and visitors can see all four gorillas enjoying each others’ company on the island.
Fellow gorilla keeper Dan Simmonds, said: ‘Jookie has this butter wouldn’t melt look to her and she gets away with murder where Bobby is concerned - he’s taken quite a shine to her. The other two females also get along with her very well - she seems to have them all wrapped around her little finger.’