Shabani is an 18-year-old gorilla at the Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Nagoya. He is also, according to many thousands of women, an unusually handsome gorilla. In fact, his nickname is “ikemen,” which is Japanese for “unusually handsome man.” And zoo officials are shocked at Shabani’s popularity.
“We were very surprised by the phenomenon,” said Takayushi Ishikawa, the zoo’s spokesman. “It’s a perfect example of the internet society.”
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) June 27, 2015
“He’s more buff than most gorillas and he’s at his peak physically,” the spokesman added. “We’ve seen a rise in the number of female visitors. Women say he’s very good-looking. He seems to have noticed his new popularity, but he’s kept it very cool.”
Takayushi added that the handsome gorilla regularly has a crowd of around 100 admirers around his pen, waiting for him to come out.
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) June 26, 2015
Unfortunately for any women trying to catch his eye, Shabani already has two wives at the zoo. Ai and Nene are the mothers of Shabani’s two offspring, Annie and Kiyomasi. And, by all reports, Shabani is an excellent and protective father.
— someecards (@someecards) June 26, 2015
Before moving to Japan, Shabani called Australia’s Taronga Zoo his home. According to Taronga Zoo media relations officer Madeleine Smitham, he wasn’t always a heartbreaker.
“I have seen quite an early photo of him,” Smitham said, “and he’s not the handsome man that he is today.”
So: Is all the furor justified? Is this, in fact, a handsome gorilla?
(Photo credit: Shiho via Instagram)