Gorilla facts

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Gorillas are NOT (very) dangerous animals! A lot of people think and say they are. If I have to count the times I heard people saying that in zoos On 2 February 2016 I heard a woman tell her boyfriend "They're extremely dangerous". I couldn't stop myself from walking over to them to educate them (because this is for me the worst misconception). I started with "Sorry to get involved, but I heard you say ". As in 99.99% of the cases when I start a conversation with someone in this way, they appreciated it a lot that I told them about it. As usual other questions followed, which I answered with a lot of pleasure. The funny thing was that I - after they left - noticed a sign right in front of where they just stood saying "You wouldn't say it at first glance, but gorillas are friendly, almost 'shy' animals".

How is it possible for a herbivore to be extremely dangerous? Predators, they are (extremely) dangerous. And humans with weapons.

Gorillas are very relaxed, very social and the most gentle big animals you can come across in the wild. As long as they don't feel threatened, they won't harm you. And even if they feel threatened, they won't do you serious harm. They just walk away or the silverback does his think to impress you He stands upright and makes himself as big as possible and he will do a chest beat moving slightly towards you, making a sound I can't describe. Believe me, you will go away!

The (wild) group in this video isn't intimated, they're just curious http://youtu.be/x2H7zcqjplc.

Another prove of gorillas not being dangerous/violent is something I witnessed in Artis in 2012. Just look at the video -> http://youtu.be/AI3As1LXcT0. They were all very curious and didn't have the intention to harm or kill this bird; they were just checking it out with a lot of curiosity. If this (or any other) bird would've 'fallen' in the chimpanzee enclosure, it would have been killed by the chimpanzees. Often pigeons and other birds make the mistake of landing in chimpanzee enclosures oops.

Then their behaviour. In zoos you see the gorillas (well, the adults that is) resting/sleeping/relaxing a lot. That's not only zoo behaviour; in the wild they rest/sleep a lot too. They (depending on the sub species) walk about 1 kilometre each day to eat. When they don't eat, they are relaxing. Gorillas don't walk long distances, but stay one on spot most of the time. Only when all food is gone there, they move to another spot.

That's why I don't understand people saying "they're so boring". They're just animals leading a relaxed live. Except for the kids of course, they're more active than the adults. But even when they see these kids play, they still say 'they're doing nothing all day'. Funny: they're only with the gorillas for a few minutes. How can they conclude that they do nothing all day?! Funny thing: it's most (but not only) heard when they arrive during the gorilla's naptime.

Another thing a lot of people think/say is that eating poop and eating mucus (more about that elswhere on my site) is out of boredom. Gorillas in the zoos aren't bored! They just save energy, just like in the wild (although they have another life style in zoos). Also the two mentioned actions happen in the wild (as said, elsewhere on my site more about that).

Like I said above, the kids is another thing than adults. They often play with each other almost all day and rest less than the adults. Of course that changes when they turn older. And let me state this clearly: they play!! Also a big misconception here from visitors (mostly from young kids I have to say, but definitely also from adults): "they're fighting". Well, they're not. When they play it's very 'wild'. They're strong animals. And sometimes they use their teeth wile playing. But like I said, it still is playing. Fights between kids don't happen that often. At least, I haven't witnessed it often (but hey, I'm not spending hours with them daily unfortunately )

Something some gorillas do now and then (not as often as other apes and some monkeys) is grooming. Most of the time it's mothers grooming their kids or the other way around. Also I sometimes see (young adult) female grooming each other. By the way, I like the English word! In Dutch it's (literally translated) 'fleaing' (as in having fleas; we made a verb of it why?!?). Because of that Dutch verb people often say the gorillas have fleas, or lice. They don't! By grooming they remove stuff from the fur that isn't suppose to be there (for instance grains of sand). It's also a social thing.