What’s the Yakini?

Posted: March 14, 2010 in Melbourne, Misc Thoughts

Yakini not long after he was born in 1999

Today we went to the Melbourne Zoo for the first time since late 2007 and noticed that something, or more specifically someone, was missing. Where was Yakini the gorilla who was born in such dramatic circumstances just over ten years ago? I know he was at the zoo just under a year ago, as he briefly escaped from his cage which even made the news in April 2009 but he is no longer a part of the gorilla troop currently at the zoo. We asked the keeper who was doing a talk about the gorillas and she ummed and erred before telling us that he has been shipped to another zoo. She did not elaborate any further but said that now Rigo is the head of the gorilla troop. This now also begs the question where is Motaba, who was the previous head of the troop. Rigo was the gorilla who was always isolated from the troop, for over a decade, but now he is the main gorilla and the other males have disappeared to who knows where. Unlike when Mzuri left the zoo to go to Jersey there has been no announcement. Does the zoo think that Melbournians, who actually named the gorilla (although he has since been renamed Yadumu by the zoo) would forget him or not want to say good-bye? Do they think that now that the baby elephant Mali has come onto the scene that we would not still be interested in Yakini? Perhaps they should take his name off the website too!

Rigo who spent a greater part of his life in solitary now is the sole silverback at Melbourne Zoo

Rigo was in solitary for over a decade is now the sole silverback

  1. […] that I took on that outing but for a second I was a little horrified about something. As I wrote here Yakini the gorilla, and his father Motaba and brother Jumutamo. I shouldn’t have worried as […]

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