Gorilla Matchmaking Lands at the Dallas Zoo

Dallas Zoo silverback is getting some company

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Dallas Zoo
    Patrick the gorilla will have a couple of new female gorillas from Cincinnati to hang out with at the Dallas Zoo.

    The Dallas Zoo's 21-year old silverback known as Patrick received some good news. The Dallas Observer reports that Cincinnati female gorillas 'Madge' and "Shanta' are heading to Big D to spend some quality time with the silverback who has lived alone for two years.

    In what amounts to "Gorilla Matchmaking," the two females will arrive in Dallas and immediately go into a 30-day quarantine in the A.H. Meadows Animal Health Care Facility to get acclimated to the surroundings and get tested for diseases. They will be placed in a cage next to Patrick in order to become acquainted with one another. Word is that these ladies are 'socially savvy' in dealing with men. It also turns out that they may have their hands full as Patrick had a 'disagreement' with two other female gorillas and they had to be moved to another institution by order of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums' Western Lowland Gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP) Program.

    The SSP acts as a matchmaker at a dating service in their responsibility manage the gorilla population by way of making sure they are happily 'mating.' And in case you were wondering, the SSP does indeed have its own Facebook and Twitter.

    "As genetically over represented females, Madge and Shanta are needed to help socialize Patrick, a lone male living at the Dallas Zoo," said Ron Evans, Primate Team Leader at the Cincinnati Zoo. "It is a primary goal of managing gorillas in captivity to not have solitary individuals.  Madge and Shanta's social skills make them a great match for Patrick's personality."

    No word on whether Patrick and his new found female companions will hang out and watch Pretty Woman or The Notebook, but this harem situation will have the other two male gorillas paying close attention to the details of the elder statesman's "arrangement" with Madge and Shanta.

    Right now we're the bachelor pad," Dallas Zoo spokesperson Susan Eckert told the Dallas Observer. "So much planning goes into it." If humans took the same route, she said, "people would probably be married a lot longer."