Irish gorilla called in by London Zoo for mating duties
Kesho is being flown form Dublin zoo to take over the mating and male responsibilities
An Irish gorilla is being called in by London Zoo desperate to find a mate for three females left bereft when their male pack leader died.
Kesho is being flown form Dublin zoo to take over the mating and male responsibilities after Yeboah, a 300-pound male silverback, died suddenly.
Yeboah had just conceived a baby with Mjukuu, the youngest gorilla, before his death.
Whether Kesho will accept the new baby gorilla when born remains a huge question.
Kesho will arrive before the end of August, giving him two months to settle in before Mjukuu gives birth.
David Field, zoological director of London Zoo, stated : "The introduction of a new male into this environment is very precarious.
"It carries significant risk for the death of the infant when it's born later this year.
"But we believe we are making the right decisions based on the expert opinions we have received."
Kesho is a 10-year-old "black back" who the Zoo thinks is mature enough to handle the change
Field said: "He's just young enough to integrate with the group in a juvenile sense, but he's mature enough to start to provide some control and some dominance – it's a difficult balance.
"He's looking to find his niche and beginning to show an interest in females and everything that goes with them."
If he was introduced any time up to four years after the birth it is likely he would kill the baby.
London Zoo was given the go ahead by experts at the Gorilla EEP (European Endangered Species Programme) species committee.
In a report the group wrote : "It is clear that the group is in need of a new leader who will improve the cohesion between the animals.
"Such a new male will hopefully also sire offspring, which is not only good for the captive population but especially for the wellbeing of the females.
"There is no better enrichment of their life than caring of a baby or experiencing the growing up of other females' offspring."
The last time London Zoo had a baby gorilla was 22 years ago.
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