Three gorillas coming to Chch in 2015
Orana Park to get three silverback gorillasCAROLINE KING
Gorillas will soon be gracing the Christchurch area.
Kababu, 35, a 230-kilogram silverback western lowland gorilla, and his sons, Fataki, 9, and Fuzu, 5, will move to Orana Wildlife Park near Christchurch.
They are expected to arrive by March 2015. The gorillas, which are at Sydney's Taronga Zoo, will be the first in New Zealand.
The park, a not-for-profit organisation, is drawing up plans for the gorilla enclosure, which would cost more than $2 million.
Orana chief executive Lynn Anderson said the attraction would be a boost for the city.
"It will be a big signal of our recovery, that we're here for the long haul and it's going to be even better," she said.
"We're going forward and Christchurch is going to have something that no-one else in New Zealand has."
Anderson said the park planned to eventually start a breeding programme.
She said the park had hoped to have the gorillas by next year.
However, there were delays because of the earthquakes, which saw international and domestic tourist numbers plummet.
Anderson said the park had $800,000 towards the $2m required for the enclosure, and was seeking donations.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Can we afford a commuter rail service for North Canterbury?Related story: Traffic delays force commuter rail services probe