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Japanese Women Are Falling Hard for a “Handsome” Gorilla Named Shabani

Meet Shabani, a handsome male gorilla that has managed to steal the hearts of young women all over Japan. He is fondly known as ‘ikimen’, a Japanese term for ‘good-looking man’, and some have even hailed him as the animal-world equivalent of George Clooney or Hugh Jackman!

Shabani, who grew up in an Australian zoo, has been living at Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Nagoya, Japan, since 2007. The western lowland gorilla is blessed with a shiny black coat and a macho brooding expression that make him very photogenic. In fact, his photos have gone viral on Twitter, where fans have shared them thousands of times over with comments like: “he’s too handsome!”

Shabani-Gorilla

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Meet the Millionaire Who Dedicated His Life to Raising Gorillas and Releasing Them into the Wild

Damian Aspinall is a casino-owning millionaire, environmentalist and animal lover who has made it his life’s mission to raise gorillas and release them into the wild. And in order to make that happen, the self-made businessman set up the Aspinall Foundation, through which he has raised over 60 gorillas in England and released them to secure locations in Africa.

Aspinall, who was once known for his party lifestyle and for dating supermodels like Naomi Campbell has now devoted his life to deepening the connection he has always shared with the animal kingdom. Apart from the Aspinall Foundation, he also runs Howletts and Port Lympne wildlife parks in Kent. It is his belief that animals should have as much right to happiness as humans do.

His deep-rooted connection with animals goes all the way back to his childhood – his father John, Aspinall, was a gambler and maverick zoo keeper. So he grew up around his father’s exotic pets, developing an all-consuming passion for wildlife as he got older. “It’s magic crossing the species boundaries, and the greatest thing about being alive,” said the 54-year-old. “You can’t explain it to people who don’t have it.”

Damian-Aspinall3

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The Great Gorilla Run in London

Hundreds of people running through the streets of London, dressed in gorilla suits, may sound like monkeying around, but it’s actually pretty serious.

While the annual Great Gorilla Run is a pretty fun event, the reason behind the event is very serious. The number of Mountain gorillas around the world is declining rapidly, and if something radical isn’t done soon, our children will probably know them as an extinct species. Through the Great Gorilla Run, the Great Gorilla Organization is trying to raise money for saving the endangered primates.

The seventh edition of the Great Gorilla Run saw 700 fake gorillas (about as many Mountain Gorillas are in the wild today) line up at the starting line, for a 7 kilometer run through London. The wacky race started in central London, in front of the Minister Court, went on along the Thames to St. Paul’s Cathedral, past Tower Bridge, and all the way to the Tate Modern Art Gallery.

Participants were dressed in various gorilla outfits, from Scottish gorillas, to businessmen gorillas and even a gorilla impersonating Che Guevara.

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