Memphis Zoo's male gorilla has three possible Valentines

By Anna Marie Hartman - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A case of Valentine fever is sweeping through the Memphis Zoo's primate canyon.  

The zoo's stud gorilla, Mwelu, is 22-years-old, and loves to watch TV, take naps and eat. But since those loves doesn't lend themselves to making babies, zookeepers are priming three female gorillas to help him along.

"He's had some challenges in his past and so he's got a lot to overcome," primate keeper Sandi Shoemaker said. "He's just learning about woman.

  • Female #1 is Kebara., a gorilla who likes to steal food from her mom
  • Female #2 is Penny, a gorilla who enjoys sitting in rubber tubs and blowing raspberries to get attention.
  • Female #3 is Kwizera, a gorilla who enjoys doing somersaults in her room, and flinging her poo.

The zoo has put the three females in seclusion, allowing them to get to know each other a little better before they can come out into the yard and bond with their bachelor

"It's very complicated, the relationships going on back there," Shoemaker said.

Zookeepers say all the single ladies might not like the competition, but if all goes well in the romance department, Mwelu will find true love, and the Memphis zoo will be hosting a baby shower.  

Meanwhile, Shoemakers says it will be a slow process that must be handled delicately.

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