Thursday, October 11, 2007

Shabani The Gorilla Tightropes

shabani the gorilla on the ropeSick of just hanging around, Shabani the gorilla has taken to walking the tightrope, delighting hundreds of visitors at a Japanese zoo.

The 10-year-old Western Lowland gorilla is meant to hang on the rope but has started walking across it instead, flapping his arms to keep balance as onlookers cheer him on.

"The rope is meant for hanging on but he started walking on it shortly after he got here," said Hiroshi Kobayashi, head of Higashiyama Zoo in the central city of Nagoya.

"Gorillas climb trees in the wild but we have hardly seen them walking a tightrope," he said.

Shabani, who weighs 110 kilogrammes (220 pounds), arrived in Japan from Sydney's Taronga Zoo in June before joining Higashiyama Zoo to breed with the three females there.

He already appears close with Nene, who at 36 is more than three times his age.

"She might seen a bit old," Kobayashi said, "but it is still fully possible to have a baby."

Story here.

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