Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Gibbon named after football star

A baby gibbon, born in Cork's Fota Wildlife Park, which has been christened Shay Gibbon following a public vote
A baby gibbon born in Cork's Fota Wildlife Park has been christened Shay Gibbon after the veteran footballer

Ireland fans will be hoping goalkeeper Shay Given can ape the agility of his new namesake during the upcoming Euro championships.

A baby gibbon born in Cork's Fota Wildlife Park has been christened Shay Gibbon after the veteran Donegal shot-stopper in a public vote.

Stephen Ryan, marketing chief at the park, said the three-month-old ape is an "agile gibbon", renowned as the fastest and most acrobatic of all primates.

"We got over 100 name suggestions through our website and we narrowed it down to four in the end," he said.

"We are delighted with the name Shay and hopefully he might bring some luck to the lads in Poland next week."

Since being born in March, Shay Gibbon has been fiercely protected by its mother Chloe.

As a result, the wildlife park-keepers say they cannot yet determine the primate's gender.

After a contest inviting suggestions for a name on Facebook, a shortlist was drawn up including Shay, George, Mel and Robin, after the late Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees.

But with days to go before the boys in green take on Croatia in their opening tie in the Euro 2012 championships, the wildlife park chose to honour Ireland's most capped player.

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