‘Hunky’ gorilla has fans: Japan Gorilla
Published: June 26, 2015
‘Hunky’ gorilla has fans: Japan Gorilla, An Australian-raised gorilla is winning hearts in Japan where his good-looks have made him a hit with female zoo-goers.
Shabani, a western lowland gorilla born in the Netherlands and raised in a Sydney zoo, is popular for his handsome looks and dramatic poses, with local admirers dubbing him an “ikemen”, or “good-looking man”.
The gorilla lives in Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Nagoya, Japan, where he moved in 2007 after spending his formative years at Taronga Zoo on the shores of Sydney Harbour.
And while the 18-year-old has local women enthralled, Shabani may have been a late bloomer.
“I have seen quite an early photo of him and he’s not the handsome man that he is today,” Madeleine Smitham, a media relations officer at Taronga Zoo, told the Telegraph.
“He certainly didn’t have quite the same following here that he has in Japan.”
On Twitter many Japanese women have tweeted praise and pictures of Shabani, Mail Online reported, including one women who wrote: “I went to Higashiyama Zoo. This hot Shabani ikemen was certainly handsome.”
Another female visitor shared an image of the zoo with her friends and the caption: “The meeting of going to see the handsome gorilla Shabani… it was a fun holiday.”
Shabani arrived at Taronga Zoo as a baby with another silverback, Kibabu, who is now living out his “retirement” at a zoo on the NSW south coast, explained another staffer, Paul Fahy.
“Obviously western lowland gorillas are a critically endangered species, so Taronga’s part of a coordinated breeding programme. The decision was made for Shabani to go to Japan as part of the breeding program, which is all about ensuring genetic diversity,” Fahy said.
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