Women flock to Ja­pan zoo to see ‘pin-up’ go­rilla, new star at­trac­tion

The China Post - - LIFE -

A gi­ant go­rilla with brood­ing good looks and rip­pling mus­cles is caus­ing a stir at a Ja­panese zoo, with women flock­ing to check out the hunky pin-up.

Sha­bani, an 18- year- old sil­ver­back who tips the scales at around 180 kilo­grams, has be­come the star at­trac­tion at Hi­gashiyama Zoo and Botan­i­cal Gar­dens in Nagoya, strik­ing smol­der­ing poses the movie model in “Zoolan­der” would be proud of.

“He of­ten rests his chin on his hands and looks in­tently at you,” zoo spokesman Takayuki Ishikawa told AFP on Fri­day.

“He is more buff than most go­ril­las and he’s at his peak phys­i­cally. We’ve seen a rise in the num­ber of fe­male visi­tors — women say he’s very good­look­ing.”

Sha­bani, who has been at the zoo since 2007, shot to fame af­ter be­ing made the cam­paign model for the zoo’s spring fes­ti­val ear­lier this year, Ishikawa said, adding that the ape’s pa­ter­nal skills are also a big hit with women.

“He’s a fa­ther and he al­ways pro­tects and looks over his chil­dren,” he said. “Zoo-go­ers think his kind­ness is at­trac­tive too.”

Women have taken to so­cial media to swoon about Sha­bani’s rugged looks, de­scrib­ing him as “ike­men” — or a hunk — and liken­ing him to a male model.

A re­cent flurry of tweets has made Sha­bani a na­tional celebrity, with Ja­pan’s broad­cast­ers NHK and NTV fea­tur­ing the go­rilla on pop­u­lar shows.

“He will look you in the eye and some­times if you’re tak­ing photos it will look like he’s pos­ing for you like a model,” said Ishikawa. “But he’s the head of a group of five go­ril­las so it’s likely he’s just watch­ing out for them and keep­ing an eye on you.”


This hand­out pic­ture re­leased from the Hi­gashiyama Zoo and Botan­i­cal Gar­dens on Fri­day, June 26 shows gi­ant male go­rilla Sha­bani, weigh­ing around 180 kilo­grams at the Hi­gashiyama Zoo in Nagoya in Aichi pre­fec­ture, cen­tral Ja­pan.

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