The total number of visitors to Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Nagoya reached 2,408,400 in fiscal 2016, the second-highest level in the last 20 years.

The park credits Shabani, a male gorilla famed for his good looks, for its success in maintaining the high number despite a 7 percent drop from the previous year due to a bird flu outbreak.

After the global outbreak of bird flu at the end of November 2016, the zoo detected the highly pathogenic virus in 10 of its avian species, including black swans. Eight died, while the remaining two were euthanized.