On the Move!

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On the Move!

Thursday, 05 August 2010

Kesho, Ireland’s very own young male gorilla, is going to London! The team in Dublin Zoo are thrilled and excited that Kesho has been selected. He was one of four possible candidates from around Europe to be considered.

Dublin Zoo is part of a European Breeding Programme for the western lowland gorilla which controls the movements of all of the European representatives of the species. This is achieved with the aid of a studbook and ensures genetic variation and to prevent interbreeding. 

The species co-ordinator decides which animals will be paired for breeding and chose Kesho largely because of his steady, calm nature, the fact that he is socially well adapted having witnessed the births of two of his siblings Evindi and Alfie as well as the introduction of a hand-reared female Mayani which he took in his stride. 

Silverbacks are adult male gorillas, typically more than 12 years of age and named for the distinctive patch of silver hair on their backs. Typically he makes most of the decisions, mediates conflicts, determines the movements of the group and is responsible for the safety and well-being of the troop.

Kesho was born in Dublin Zoo in 1999 to Harry the silverback and his partner Lena. He was reared here with his family and has gained quite a fan base among regular zoo visitors.

Dublin Zoo is currently working on plans for a Gorilla Rainforest for its family of western lowland gorillas. The spacious naturalistic habitat of some 12,000 square metres with its dense vegetation will provide Dublin Zoo’s gorillas with a more stimulating and spacious environment.

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