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‘Gorilla tactics’ in Longleat’s newest sports team

THERE has been no sign of any monkey business in this year’s Ashes-winning England squad, but the same could not be said for Longleat’s newest cricket club!

Lowland gorillas at Longleat were recently introduced to the sport as part of an enrichment programme.

Initially lowland gorilla, Kesho and his siblings Evindi and Alf, like many newcomers to the great game, weren’t entirely sure what to make of the bat, ball and stumps.

However it didn’t take them long to pick it up and Alf even appeared to indulge in some subtle attempts at ball tampering as the game progressed.

Keeper Mark Tye said, “We’re always looking at new objects which we can introduce to the gorillas. They’re naturally inquisitive and love discovering new things, particularly if they can play with them.

“Kesho is definitely the alpha male and was rather reluctant to share with his younger brothers, however he did eventually relent and let the others have a go – at least with the ball!”

Kesho, Evindi and Alf live in a spacious lakeside home close to Longleat House. Featuring more than a dozen mature trees in an extensive outdoor grassed area, the spacious gorilla enclosure overlooks Longleat’s Half Mile Lake and utilises natural boundaries wherever possible without the barriers of bars or glass.

In addition to the existing trees, keepers have installed a selection of outdoor climbing logs and frames. The gorillas also share a large indoor shelter with a communal area featuring ropes, swings and climbing apparatus.