Gorilla was teased by visitors

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So, what was that lesson many children learn about not teasing animals? No wait, not only did children apparently throw rocks at the gorilla, but the woman who was attacked and bitten had stared down the animal in a way you’re not supposed to, according to the zoo’s staff. She claimed that when she laughed, the gorilla seemed to laugh back, but in fact, this was a facial expression denoting “I’m gonna get you if you keep doing that”.

(Link: Dag)

2 Comments »

  1. jeepers… you’d believe that someone who’s so enthused about apes should know that much: never stare at a gorilla, never bare your teeth in front of him, even if as a zoo visitor you are protected in the best possible way–because feeling threatened would cause distress to the animal, and you don’t want to cause distress to someone you like so much, right?
    this said, there’s no doubt that the biggest blame of the whole story lays at the Blijdorp management’s door: couldn’t they figure out that gorillas are quite good at jumping and flinging themselves? I’m a zoo-goer myself, but what I always look for is respect and safety–and not just on this side of the bars (or the glass, for what it matters).

    Comment by Andreina — May 24, 2007 @ 1:27 pm

  2. If I wouldn’t want to cause distress to an animal, I wouldn’t go to the zoo in the first place. Bareing your teeth sends a signal to a gorilla; similarly, visiting a zoo sends a signal to the zoo’s management that it’s OK to mistreat animals by keeping them captive.

    Comment by Branko Collin — May 28, 2007 @ 3:53 pm

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