Smooth moving day for VIPs

28 October 2011

The VIPs—very important primates—have moved into their magnificent new $3.6 million exhibit at Werribee Open Range Zoo!

Three male Western Lowland Gorillas from Melbourne Zoo were transferred to Werribee this afternoon.

The trio—silverback Motaba, and his two youngest sons, Yakini and Ganyeka —made the short trip to the West in three transport crates loaded onto a large truck, courtesy of Zoos Victoria sponsors, Linfox Transport.

Earlier, all three gorillas underwent routine medical checks by a leading team of medical and veterinary specialists.

Motaba was born in the U.K., at the Durrell Wildlife Preservation Trust on the Channel Island of Jersey, and he was transferred to Melbourne Zoo in 1990 as part of the international breeding program for endangered species.

Since then, Motaba has produced five offspring, so he is now retired from the breeding program.

Ganyeka is the offspring of Motaba and G-Ann, and Yakini's mother is Yuska, making him a half-brother to Australia's firstborn gorilla, Mzuri.

Yakini and Ganyeka may be called upon to join family groups as breedingmales at some time in the future. The new Werribee exhibit is an important regional male holding facility.

The official opening of the new exhibit will be on Monday 7 November.