A massive silverback mountain gorilla has moved into Manhattan, but no, it's not atop the Empire State building.
Bella Abzug Park in Hudson Yards is now home to the "King Nyani" sculpture, a 4.5-ton bronze statue inspired by the story of King Kong. The work by Australian artists Gillie and Marc Schattner was installed this week to raise awareness of the animal's critically endangered status.
The mountain gorilla is the only species of ape whose numbers are increasing, according to Love the Last, a worldwide art project by the Schattners. Visitors are encouraged to take photos with the sculpture using the hashtag #LovetheLast and share the story on social media.
The artists say they got the idea for King Nyani, Swahili for gorilla, after they visited Uganda where they were able to observe mountain gorillas in the wild.
“It was beautiful watching the silverback interacting with his family. He was so gentle and loving and clearly cared deeply for his family," Marc Schattner said.
“We knew we had to let the world know about this loving and gentle side of gorillas. They are often so misunderstood and thought of as scary and dangerous animals. But if they were able to see the silverback, maybe they wouldn’t be so scared," Gillie Schattner added.