Zambora is a circus attraction referred to as the "strangest girl ever born to live." She was captured near Nairobi, South Africa and is belived to have been part of a cruel, inhuman experiment. She can change slowly into a ferocious 450 lbs gorilla and is currently the property of Circus Circus. A fictional character, she appears briefly in the EON Productions' 1971 film Diamonds Are Forever.

Film biography 

Zambora is a beautiful young woman who can be transformed into a gorilla (and/or vice versa), apparently after having been subjected to scientific experimentation.  It is unknown whether she was originally a human or an ape, as she now spends time as a member of both species. The shapeshifter was first captured in Nairobi, South Africa and later brought to Las Vegas to be used as part of a circus side show.  An unnamed scientist currently manages her show and is presumably her handler.  Like any other circus animal, Zambora is valuable property and spends most of her time in either form confined to her cage to prevent her escape.  

Before changing from her human to her gorilla form, Zambora is caged and placed in a "transcendental state."  Tiffany Case goes into the show to lose the CIA agents tailing her.  Once Zambora's body and mind are securely held in the trance, a wooden door is opened so that the audience may enjoy the perfection of her exposed female body through the cage bars. The viewers are asked to be silent so as to avoid disrupting her trance until the process is complete. The cage is then exposed to radiation to alter the girl's DNA.  Still under the scientist's power, the young woman obediently stands motionless as she is transfigured.  The room falls silent as the body in the cage slowly morphs from that of a shapely, human female to that of a vicious, savage ape. Once the metamorphosis is complete, the scientist makes the mistake of rousing the beast from its trance.  As a result, his control over her is temporarily compromised and she attempts to escape. When the enraged animal breaks out of its cage, Tiffany uses the ensuing havoc as a distraction to give the agents tailing her the slip.

The creature's fate after this is uncertain, but it is likely that she was recaptured and returned to captivity where she will forever continue to serve her rightful masters in any way they please.


Zambora's human body is shapely, beautiful and voluptuous. With an attractive face to complement her well-shaped body, this form of an exotic beauty exudes considerable sex appeal. Her aesthetically pleasing feminine figure is likely displayed half naked to attract male viewers to the show. Her beauty is emphasized by her exhibitioners. 

As a gorilla, she appears immensely strong and fearsome; enough to frighten most viewers. Like that of any female gorilla, this body is bulky, powerful, and covered in thick, black fur.


Zambora is wild, unpredictable and sometimes difficult to control.  Having originally lived free and untamed in the wilds of Africa, her violent and rebellious tendencies may arise from anger at having been turned into a slave/beast in captivity.   It is likely that she is still growing accustomed to her life's new role and hasn't had her feral, animalistic will completely tamed.  It is possible that her master prefers to leave her this way, as it makes her image as a wild creature seem more authentic than if she were willingly obedient.  

As an animal, she can easily be provoked or spooked, even by the familiar sound of her master's voice. This can make her dangerous and necessitates that she be caged. Unlike other circus animals, she does not seem to interact well with the audience or her owners.  This is makes it practical to place her in her trance-like state, which forces her into submission.  While under her master's power, her mind, body and soul are subject to his will.

Powers and Abilities

Shapeshifter- The experiments conducted on Zambora enable her form to shift between a beautiful young woman and an African Mountain Gorilla.  

Human- Her greatest asset in her human form is her beauty and sex appeal.  Her shapely body is alluring by anyone's standards and can be used to divert, entertain, distract or seduce men.  Her native tongue is presumably Afrikaans, but she has likely learned English since being subjugated.

Gorilla- Her ape form is boasts an immense 450 lbs of muscle.  If she gets out of control, her inhuman strength can make her dangerous and even allow her to tear down the door of a steel cage.  In this form, she also has all other inherent ape abilities, such as a terrifying roar, sharp jaws, and climbing abilities.  She cannot communicate with humans in this form, but may be able to communicate with others of her own species.

Immortality- The experiments conducted on her also rendered her immune to aging, which will allow her to retain her youth and beauty for as long as she lives.  This makes her an even more valuable asset, as she possesses no expiration date.


Unnamed Scientist -- The scientist seen in the film is Zambora's handler, show manager and owner.  It is unknown how he aquired her, but he wisely uses mind/body control to ensure that his prized possession will forever remain (willingly or unwillingly)obedient.  

Though a free-willed Zambora has no love for her master, she is forced to accept that he now owns her and her flesh and blood belong to him to do with as he chooses.  Whatever she may have been before, she knows that she is now little more than an animate object (albeit a valuable one) and forever bound to obey whatever master fate presents her with.

Beyond for entertainment purposes, it is unknown how else he uses her and/or her transformable body. 

The full extent of Zambora's offstage relationship with her master is never revealed.  

Further Information 

The purpose and nature of the experiments conducted on Zambora are unknown, but it is unlikely that she was subjected to them voluntarily. Regardless of her original species or the circumstances of her transformation, her new status as a patented animal reduces her to property and makes her subservient to her owners. Based on her behavior, it can be inferred that she resents this new role in life, but has no choice but to submit to her masters' will. 

Exactly how she enters her "transcendental state" is not specified, but given its nature, it is probable that she is hypnotized or placed under the influence of a form of mind control.  Once she is in this state, her captors have complete control over her.  While under her master's power, her mind, body and soul can be altered and manipulated as desired.  However, this technique cannot be used constantly and she will temporarily regain free will once released. Only the girl's master is permitted to wake her from the trance, as he likely places her in it.

The alteration she's undergone has also rendered her immune to aging, which will allow her to remain young and beautiful for all time.  However, she may not see this as a blessing, as she will spend eternity as an item being passed from one hand to another.  Her agelessness combined with her shapeshifting abilitiy, sexual attractiveness and compulsory, absolute compliance with her owner's wishes makes her a priceless luxury that only the wealthiest can afford.

It is unlikely that her current master would ever sell her, as her beautiful form pleases him as well as other men.  Such a unique and beautiful creature as Zambora is a prized possesion and, given her unconditional obedience, her potential uses are limitless.  Like her current master, whoever takes possession of her in the future will be given total control over her.  They will likely put her to whatever use takes their fancy, whether it be profit, science, power or their personal pleasure. 

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