[monkeywire] Tightrope walking gorilla

alex stevenson alexs19 at hotmail.com
Sun Oct 14 10:37:27 EDT 2007

Shabani the gorilla learns the ropes
AFP - Thursday, October 11 08:00 am

(The link has a picture too!)

TOKYO (AFP) - Sick 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 

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

Here's an alternative link, in case the one above didn't work.

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