There’s a new man about town…
Wednesday 1 May 2013
New silverback gorilla joins the ladies at ZSL London Zoo
A new male gorilla has arrived at ZSL London Zoo – and he’s already proving to be a quite the personality.
15-year-old western lowland gorilla, Kumbuka, arrived in London just two weeks ago from Paignton Zoo in Devon, and despite never having had a female mate before, has already been spotted flirting with females Mjukuu and Effie.
When he’s not lavishing in the females’ attention Kumbuka, who weighs in at a hefty 29-stone (185kg), likes to show off his impressive agility skills climbing around the Gorilla Kingdom gymnasium.
Kumbuka also likes to indulge his more mischievous streak; he’s been spotted taking apart enrichment toys and even breaking the heavy branches that make up his climbing apparatus.
Gorilla keeper Daniel Simmonds said: “We’re all really excited by the arrival of Kumbuka here at ZSL London Zoo and he’s settling in really well.
“We’ve been slowly introducing him to our three females, and Mjukuu and Effie are already quite smitten with their handsome new roommate.
“He is proving to have quite a playful side to him; he loves to snap the branches on the smaller trees on their island and standing in the spray of the hosepipe when we clean his dens.”
It is hoped that seven-foot-tall Kumbuka will mate with the Zoo’s females – helping to boost the numbers of this critically endangered species in the European breeding programme.
Filling the gap left by previous male Kesho who moved to Longleat Safari Park to be reunited with his brother Alf in a bachelor group, Kumbuka will act as leader of the troop at ZSL London Zoo, protecting the females and ensuring they’re all happy.
Watch this video to see how Kumbuka is settling in to his new home in Gorilla Kingdom.