All the Last Gorilla in India Wants Is a Date

By Nina Bai | October 27, 2008 10:41 am

gorillaYou know those nice guys who just can’t seem to find a special someone? Meet Polo, a 36-year-old male who’s been unattached for the past eight years, ever since his mate died in 2000. Originally from Dublin, Ireland, he now lives in southern India—in a zoo. Polo is the only gorilla left in all of India. (Although in Spain, he’d practically be considered human, for legal purposes.)

Zookeepers say Polo is healthy, friendly, and bilingual (he understands both English and the local Kannada language), but extremely lonely. “The few joys he enjoys are bathing and searching for food that his keeper hides in blocks of ice or in bamboo to keep him energized,” says Vijay Ranjan Singh, the director of the zoo. Polo is a western lowland gorilla, an endangered species found in central Africa. In the wild, a handsome silverback like Polo would be leading a troop of up to 30 gorillas, most of them female.

Fearing for Polo’s psychological well-being, zookeepers are putting out a desperate call for potential mates or companions. They say they’ve already contacted all the major zoos in the world, but no one seems willing to part with their gorillas. Too bad Craigslist personals doesn’t have a category for ape seeking ape—though this comes close.

Related Content:

DISCOVER: Waist-Deep In Silverbacks
Discoblog: Internet Dating a New Option for Zoo Animals

Image: flickr/ diskychick

MORE ABOUT: gorillas, zoos
  • kamiikoneko

    If they are so concerned, why don’t they part with their gorilla and send him to a larger enclosure. The fact that they expect another larger community to give up a gorilla for them shows that their concern is most likely monetary, in my mind.

  • Rasselas

    I’m not so sure it’s monetary. I think that “the last ape in India” has a lot to offer emotionally (even though it’s not a wild gorilla). The government, the zoo, the people of india, and in a sense to the large community of the world would all be benefitted by the emotional and cultural stimulus of keeping the gorilla there, and it might breed greater ecological concern in india as well. While I’m not saying that expanding the gorilla’s confines and investing more money wouldn’t be beneficial in more ways than one… I do believe that it is to some degree India’s best interests to keep the gorilla there. But perhaps loaning the gorilla to another zoo for a while, in exchange for a loan of one of theirs… or giving an offspring to another zoo… that these would be negotiable possibilities that may be for everyone’s best interests.

  • http://www.theindiaphile.com danrhodes

    The last ape in India, poor fellow! I didn’t even know they had any…

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Discoblog

Quirky, funny, and surprising science news from the edge of the known universe.
ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »