An endangered gorilla has settled into his new home in the British capital after a first-class flight from Tenerife.

London Zoo got the Kiburi nice and early before the Christmas delivery backlog, the Kiburi shipped by DHL.

After a door-to-door flight of 1,903 miles in a large custom-designed cage — which included an in-flight meal of leafy greens, leeks, bananas and cold fruit tea — the 18-year-old stayed the night at Heathrow before heading off. to the zoo.

Kiburi already has a lot of beautiful pictures to choose from for his Facebook profile.  Pic: ZSL London Zoo
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Kiburi already has a lot of beautiful pictures to choose from for his Facebook profile. Pic: ZSL London Zoo

The photogenic monkey, who weighed 193kg and measured 5ft 4in, was welcomed to the Gorilla Kingdom exhibit after medical checkups and will soon be introduced to his housemates.

Among these are the females, Joko and Eevee, and the two young men, Alika and Gernot.

Kiburi arrived as part of an international breeding program, so keepers are hoping he will get an Effie or Mjukuu under the mistletoe during the holiday season.

Gorilla ranger Glenn Hennessy said, “Like any blended family, when getting to know each other, it’s important that we take things slowly, so we’ll keep a close eye on the troops and introduce them to each other face-to-face at a pace they’re comfortable with.”

Kipuri seems to be living his life in London to the fullest so far – he’s already tested out the new rope swings and enjoyed some delicious meals, including a juicy paprika breakfast.

And while he is biased to lie down in the morning, there is still no sign of him going on strike.

Read more:
The oldest gorilla in the world dies at the age of 61

Gorilla was shipped via DHL.  Pic: ZSL London Zoo
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Gorilla was shipped via DHL. Pic: ZSL London Zoo
The Kiburi box offers a surprising amount of legroom.  Pic: ZSL London Zoo
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The kebori box provided amazing legroom. Pic: ZSL London Zoo

The teenager, who arrived from Loro Parque Zoo, was given some large bananas to fill as his next in place of Kombucha, the former London gorilla who died in 2018.

Identified by rangers as a worthy successor through the European Breeding Program for Endangered Species, he has already proven to be a “calm, friendly individual who is a perfect fit for our gorilla family dynamic”.

The program aims to protect and increase the population of western lowland gorillas that are vulnerable to poaching, disease, deforestation and climate change.

While they are notoriously elusive, living in some of Africa’s densest and most remote rainforests, the WWF estimates their total population to be 100,000.



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