Keeper Charlotte Cooke with the new Gorilla


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L-R: Sarah Pulman, Charlotte Cooke, Lizzy Mcnamara and Katie Gates

The keepers at Monkey Haven near Newport have taken delivery of a massive new primate – he arrived in a huge lorry a few days ago and is now settling into his new home on the Isle of Wight.

Seated, he’s a whopping 8ft tall, which is much bigger than all the rescued monkeys and apes at the animal sanctuary. But the friendly giant doesn’t mind being kissed and cuddled and you can even sit on his huge hand!

The Silverback Gorilla is made from tough fibreglass and can be found near the picnic area of the award winning attraction. He’s already causing quite a stir and visitors are taking some great gorilla selfies.

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The idea is to draw attention to the plight of gorillas in the wild, as all species face extinction due to the trade in bushmeat and the destruction of the rainforests where they live in Africa.

Don Walser, Founder of Monkey Haven commented:

“This is the biggest beast you’ve ever seen, and we hope you’ll come and meet him.

“We’re looking for a name and will be running a competition on Facebook to win a family day out. For now, he’s called Big Don – apparently that’s a tribute to me, so I’ll take it as a compliment! I’ve also heard him called ‘Peachy’ which is reference to his big behind. But what do you want to call him? We look forward to hearing everyone’s suggestions!”


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