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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 December 2007, 14:15 GMT
Amorous gorilla put on birth pill
Delilah is one of the oldest gorillas in captivity
An elderly but amorous female gorilla has been "put on the pill" by Belfast Zoo vets to prevent her becoming pregnant.

Although Delilah,"the grand old dame" of the zoo, is regarded as a gorilla OAP, her behaviour with her male friends continually belies her years.

The zoo's vets have now decided that a pregnancy would be too dangerous for the lively primate.

The spritely 44-year-old is one of the oldest gorillas in captivity anywhere.

Belfast Zoo manager Mark Challis said that although Delilah was showing signs of arthritis, she was still in great condition for her age.

"It is a reflection of the great quality of care provided by keepers and vets at Belfast Zoo that despite being one of Europe's oldest gorillas, Delilah is fit and healthy and even able to breed at her advanced age," he said.

"This demonstrates a planned and responsible approach to animal care and breeding at the zoo and ensures the continued excellence and best practice towards the welfare of all the zoo's animals, from the latest baby to Delilah, the grand old dame of the zoo."

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