When one young visitor pounded her chest, the silverback gorilla charged over to the glass that separates visitors from the animals and angrily slammed his whole body weight against it. The glass did not shatter, thankfully, but a large crack did form.
“I found it pretty interesting that the gorilla appeared to purposely avoid eye contact while running at the glass until the very last second. I’m sure that means something, but I don’t speak gorilla,” cowpen said.
Redditor GroundhogNight shared a similar experience from a visit to the Cleveland Zoo during his childhood.
“When I was 10, I did this. Gorilla exhibit at the Cleveland Zoo. 4th grade field trip.
A gorilla had been moving along the glass making faces at the kids, very positive and happy. So I beat my chest because it was the only gorilla language I knew. He stops being happy. Pounds his chest. Pounds the glass. Runs all around the enclosure yelling and flipping shit. Then sits with his back to everyone. Everyone’s jaw is dropped. They look at me. I gulp.
My mom was an animal behaviorist and chaperoning the trip. She tells me I have to apologize. So I tap on the glass.
The gorilla knuckles his way to me and is staring me the fuck down. Mom tells me to lower my head and hold out my hand, palm up. I do. After a few seconds, the gorilla taps the glass and starts smiling-laughing. Resumes playing with everyone!
That was my first and only conversation with a gorilla. 9/10.”
Hopefully at the next exhibit, these visitors just kept to themselves.
H/T Reddit | Photo via Loren Javier/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)