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Trends : LOVE STORIES: : THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY : 'Jungle Love'

February 13, 1987|BEVERLY BEYETTE

From true love to stabbed-in-the-back love, from quick love to love that just won't die, View writers have chronicled looks at love in the '80s for Valentine's Day eve. Some of the names have been changed to protect the innocent, and the guilty, but all are true . . . even if love sometimes isn't.

Out at Griffith Park, Tzambo has found the gorilla of his dreams.

Tzambo, who'd never had much luck with the ladies even though he's considered good-looking as lowland gorillas go, and Evelyn, who heretofore was more interested in escape than in amour, "have forged a wonderful social bond," said L.A. Zoo director Dr. Warren Thomas.

And ecstatic zoo officials are thinking pink and blue. Tests last week confirmed that Evelyn, 11, and Tzambo, 15, are going to be parents, each for the first time. "I can't tell you they're happy because they don't know," Thomas said, "but we certainly are."

Tzambo (the T is silent) wasn't always "your basic, well-rounded gorilla," a spokeswoman explained, having been raised in a gorilla group of one female and three more aggressive males owned by a private collector in England. When he was sent to the San Diego Zoo, Tzambo had never had a serious relationship with a female.

At San Diego, where there were other breeding males, Tzambo, a 300-pounder, fared no better. The L.A. Zoo needed a breeding male so 18 months ago it borrowed Tzambo and placed him in an enclosure where the odds favored him--one other male and three females. But it was no go.

"Poor Tzambo had no idea he was supposed to do anything but stand around and look very impressive," Thomas said. Evelyn, who was raised in captivity and had a lot to learn about the opposite sex, wasn't exactly swept off her feet either.

Then, one day, it happened. Tzambo, who'd been watching another gorilla group nearby, "all at once found there was something else in life," Thomas said. He also found Evelyn.

If all goes well, the eighth lowland gorilla to be born at the L.A. Zoo will arrive in October.

Meanwhile, Evelyn and Tzambo--identifiable as the pair who spend a lot of time clapping their hands and sitting around watching one another--await the blessed event. "Tzambo doesn't know what's going on," Thomas acknowledged. Evelyn is off her food, he added, and "she's a bit grouchy."

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