Monday, 29 June 2015

“Handsome” gorilla gains fame in Japan

June 28, 2015

John Hopton for – @Johnfinitum

A ‘handsome’ gorilla at a zoo in Nagoya, Japan has found fame on Twitter after smoldering photos of him were used in the zoo’s spring advertisements.

Shabani, a 400 pound silverback, has also attracted crowds of local admirers – particularly female ones. According to CNN, swooning fans “constantly” surround his enclosure at Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens, often 100 at a time.

(Credit: Higashiyama Zoo Botanical Garden)
Staff say the gorilla is 18 years old and in the prime of his life, but this silverback also has a Clooney-esque sophistication to add to his physical prowess. He has become famous for flexing his muscles and for his intense, brooding stares when being photographed.

“He often rests his chin on his hands and looks intently at you,” zoo spokesman Takayuki Ishikawa told AFP, quoted by Discovery. “He is more buff than most gorillas. We’ve seen a rise in the number of female visitors — women say he’s very good-looking.”

What women want?

Added to good looks on his long list of attributes is the protectiveness he shows to his family. Shabani has two ‘wives’, Ai and Nene, and two children – Kiyomasi and Annie. Keepers and visitors alike say he appears to be a model father.

“He always protects and looks over his children,” Ishikawa said. “Zoo-goers think his kindness is attractive too.”

In fact, his camera poses can be explained by this protective instinct, rather than any Hollywood ambitions.

“He will look you in the eye and sometimes if you’re taking photos it will look like he’s posing for you like a model,” Ishikawa said, “But he’s the head of a group of five gorillas so it’s likely he’s just watching out for them and keeping an eye on you.”

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