Panettiere’s gorilla friend
Hayden Panettiere has spoken about why she felt moved to rebuild the enclosure in which Kiev Zoo’s gorilla, Tony, once resided.
The 25-year-old pregnant Nashville star is currently engaged to professional boxer, Wladimir Klitschko, who hails from Ukraine.
And during a visit to Kiev, the capital city of Wladimir’s home country, Hayden developed a strong bond with a gorilla named Tony housed at the Kiev Zoo.
“I was being escorted around the backside of the monkey exhibits when there he was, a massive, furry, black creature that made even the Klitschko brothers look small! That's when I met Tony the Gorilla,” she wrote online in a note published via website JustPaste.It. “He was spectacular, but I must say, his obvious inhuman strength was terrifying!”
Hayden, who is a known animal welfare activist, noticed something even more startling during her first interaction with the mammal.
The star admits she was disturbed by how Tony was living, which prompted her to improve his home.
“Each time I walked away from his cage I realized how ridiculously small his enclosure was for such a large animal. I could tell even his caretakers hated the conditions in which they were forced to confine him. There were very few toys to occupy his intelligent mind, and thick metal bars on almost all 4 sides; it looked like a prison cell,” she recalled. “So I set out upon a mission to change this and rebuilt Tony the Gorilla's home. Not only did I do it for Tony, a deeply smart animal forced to only see the sky through bars for the past 16 years of his life, but for the people of Kiev who spend their hard earned money to take their families to the zoo for a great experience!”
Hayden is carrying her first child with future husband Wladimir and the happy couple are expecting a baby girl.
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