(Gorilla above was the one being tormented)
Monday, September 26, 2016
Observing the Gorilla Forest for roughly an hour was both splendid and sorrowful all at once. I sat outside the building near a panel of glass that looked into the enclosure. In front of me sat a big male gorilla who throughout the entirety of observing him ate fistfuls of grass while sitting on his haunches. It was interesting to note how meditative he looked while munching on his food, and that while to my eye all the grass appeared to be the same he clearly saw something I didn’t for he was particular on where he pulled up the grass. My observation of him was calm and informative but I couldn’t help but notice how loud the inside of the building got as people came and went. At one point there was loud bang on the glass which startled both I and my gorilla compatriot. Most likely the oldest and largest silverback that lead the family was displaying his protective instincts and displaying aggression towards the observers. Running sideways on all fours he would rush towards the glass, then stop suddenly and sit down. What surprised me was how calm he appeared at one moment and then in an instant he would be banging on the glass and stomping around. Curious as to the source of the agitation I went into the building and saw what was happening. A man was finding humor in the gorilla’s actions and was pounding on the glass intermediately. His actions served as a catalyst for another man who then pretended to chuck his water bottle at the gorilla angering him further. I felt that the information on these marvelous creatures was ignored in people’s pursuit of interacting with the animals I learned a lot about gorillas but even more about people through my time observing.