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VIDEO: New gorilla Kumbuka arrives at London Zoo – will love be in the air?

PUBLISHED: 07:00 04 May 2013

Kumbuka, the new silverback gorilla at London Zoo. Picture: Polly Hancock

Kumbuka, the new silverback gorilla at London Zoo. Picture: Polly Hancock

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A new teenage male gorilla has arrived on the scene in London Zoo – and has already been spotted flirting with the females of the critically-endangered species.

Kumbuka, the new silverback gorilla at London Zoo. Picture: Polly HancockKumbuka, the new silverback gorilla at London Zoo. Picture: Polly Hancock

The 29-stone western lowland gorilla, called Kumbuka, arrived in London just two weeks ago from Paignton Zoo in Devon, and despite never having had a female mate before, hasn’t been backward in coming forward with Mjukuu and Effie, the zoo’s two female gorillas.

Indeed, the 15-year-old is already proving to be a quite the personality. He likes to show off his impressive agility skills climbing around the Gorilla Kingdom gymnasium.

He also likes to indulge his more mischievous streak; he’s been spotted taking apart the toys he’s been given 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.

Kumbuka, the new silverback gorilla at London Zoo. Picture: Polly HancockKumbuka, the new silverback gorilla at London Zoo. Picture: Polly Hancock

“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.

He fills 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 now act as leader of the troop at London Zoo, protecting the females and ensuring they’re all happy.


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