Dublin: 14 °C Friday 18 September, 2020

#Dublin Zoo

From The week in photos Week In Photos This post contains images

The week in photos

This is the week that was, in pictures.

It's a.... boy (gorilla) It's A Boy This post contains images

It's a.... boy (gorilla)

Mum gorilla at Dublin Zoo finally lets zookeepers check the gender of her two-week-old baby.

From Ireland's top tourist destinations now on Google Street View Google This post contains images

Ireland's top tourist destinations now on Google Street View

Dublin Zoo and Fota Wildlife Park are just some of the tourist attractions that can now be explored in detail online.

New arrivals at Dublin Zoo named Dublin Zoo This post contains images

New arrivals at Dublin Zoo named

The results of the public competition are in…

Slideshow: Dublin Zoo unveils new baby rhino Zoo Babies This post contains images

Slideshow: Dublin Zoo unveils new baby rhino

Zoo is looking for the public’s help in naming the new arrival.

From The 9 at 9: Friday 9 At 9

The 9 at 9: Friday

Nine things you really, really need to know by 9am: Bank bonuses to be taxed at 90 per cent, the family of a brain injured man who was savagely beaten by a man who was out on bail speak out, and Dublin zoo needs you.

From Red faces (and red hair) at Dublin Zoo Oops This post contains images

Red faces (and red hair) at Dublin Zoo

Misguided “Orang utan Weekend” promotion appears to link red-haired children with the endangered species.

He’s dark, hairy, young at heart – and makes up for what he lacks in the looks department, with plenty of Irish charm.

Keepers at London zoo are banking on a ten-year-old gorilla called Kesho being able to cheer up a group of bereaved female primates, when he arrives there later this month.

The male blackback is being flown from Dublin in the company of his keepers within weeks to join three  females – Zaire, Effie and Mjukuu – who were left bereft when their previous mate died in April.

The Irish-reared gorilla, whose mother used to drag him around by one leg until keepers in Dublin zoo taught her how to carry him, was judged to be socially well-adjusted, and his name emerged early on amongst zoo-watchers as a front-runner for the opening left by Yeboah’s sudden death.

The premature demise of the 20-stone silverback  shocked everyone at London zoo, because he had just conceived a baby with Mjukuu, the youngest gorilla, before his death.

One commentators to the zoo chat forum wrote:

If Mjukuu is pregnant it will however make introducing a new male more complicated … [but] I think Kesho from Dublin is an excellent candidate to replace Yeboah

Kesho, who is just beginning to show an interest in the opposite sex, will have to grow up fast – he has just two months to settle in before Mjukuu gives birth and he becomes a foster dad.

But as with all new arrivals, the baby’s birth is likely to prove a stressful time for everyone concerned.

David Field, zoological director of London Zoo, said:

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, a 10-year-old “black back” who is about 18 in gorilla years, was chosen to be young enough to mix in easily with the group but mature enough to provide leadership.

Field added:

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.

But the move is still a risky one:  new gorillas introduced to a herd any time up to four years after a birth are likely to kill the baby.

London Zoo was given the go ahead by experts at the Gorilla EEP (European Endangered Species Programme) species committee.

In his report, Jan Vermeer wrote how the move should be good for Kesho too:

There is no better enrichment of their life than caring of a baby or experiencing the growing up of other females’ offspring.

It is hoped Kesho will also be able to mate with Mjukuu, 11, the youngest of the females.

After his arrival,  he will be monitored 24 hours a day.

FRESH FROM A BIRDNAPPING only a few weeks ago, Dublin Zoo have installed a Penguin webcam to keep track of its birds. We’re not quite sure if the camera is for the Zoo, or its penguin-loving patrons. The camera allows viewers to watch the Zoo’s 14 penguins play, sleep and feed at any time, night or day. We haven’t seen much activity this morning, but perhaps they’re having a lie-in.

Earlier this month, Kelli the penguin was stolen from the Zoo and later found roaming the city’s streets before she was given a gardai escort back to the penguin habitat.

Ironically, the webcam is sponsored by Mc-Vities who’s motto is P-P-Pick up a penguin – is that something the zoo should be encouraging?