That Gorilla Needed Anger Management

Angry Gorilla

Last Sunday I visited the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, Nebraska. It was all kinds of awesome. I love a good zoo and this my friends, was a good zoo. Except for the part where Captain Thoughtful and I were almost murdered by a gorilla.

You know those glass bubble thingamagigs they have at zoos where you can kind of feel like you’re in the habitat with the animals but you are still protected by reinforced plastic? I call them bubble windows and I’ve always thought they were pretty neat. I don’t anymore. Now, I think they are an excellent way to get murdered by a Gorilla. Which, as deaths go, sounds pretty cool but probably hurts a lot, although it still better than being murdered by an armadillo.

Captain Thoughtful and I were sitting in one of those bubble windows looking right into the eyes of a giant and beautiful silverback gorilla. I tried to communicate with him through positive and calm vibes. Surely, this majestic creature could tell that I was very appreciative of his strength and grace and that I only wanted to sit and watch him for a while. Perhaps though, gorillas don’t communicate through vibes because not more than 2 seconds later he stood to his full height and started banging with all his strength (which is a lot) on the bubble window right where our heads were. I didn’t make a noise, I just jumped up and walked away quickly leaving Captain Thoughtful to fend for himself against and a very perturbed gorilla. Maybe I’m not the person you want standing next to you in a gorilla attack.

Of course, we were completely safe. Really, truly, nothing to fear, kind of safe. But when a massive gorilla is making every attempt to crush your skull with his fist, you kind of forget about how “safe” you are and more about how quickly you need to get away from that super angry gorilla who clearly has murder on his mind. Captain Thoughtful was totally cool about it though, he just sat there calmly and watched the gorilla walk away, which was impressive, but even more impressive was that he let me tell a bunch of people that a gorilla tried to murder us at the zoo without even correcting me or implying that I might be over-exaggerating. That guy is a keeper y’all.

Later, after my heart resumed it’s normal rhythms (it beats in time to the Bee Gees “Staying Alive”)  I was able to disassociate myself from what happened enough to realize that the gorilla probably just needed anger management classes.

30 thoughts on “That Gorilla Needed Anger Management

  1. Maybe the gorilla would be a lot happier in the jungles of Central Africa. I’m not against zoos, because I think we can learn so much from seeing animals close up. And I loved London Zoo as a kid, and actually still do love it. But it isn’t natural for them.

  2. “It wasn’t bad either, Harry thought, licking it as they watched a gorilla scratching its head who looked remarkably like Dudley, except that it wasn’t blond.”

  3. I think when primates have been living in a zoo long enough, they become fully aware that humans are just there to stare at them. I once saw a huge crowd standing around the Gorilla exhibit at the LA zoo so I went to see what all the fuss was about. Turned out a very large female gorilla was sitting there facing the crowd with legs wide open…masturbating. She must have been thinking to herself “Really…THIS is what you’re here to see?” It was pretty hilarious to hear parents try to explain what she was doing to their kids.

  4. I would have been scared, I mean concerned, and skeedaddled outta there too. How strong can a plastic bubble be, anyway?

    So I guess you have an answer to who would win a staring contest between you and a gorilla. Or maybe he was just responding to the Captain’s alpha maleness.

  5. Rabid gorilla attack? Any given Sunday. Although in my house the gorilla looks a lot like a two-year-old hopped up on apple juice. Beasts be vicious!

  6. I would have jumped out of my skin, too! Wow. Thank goodness you survived, and what’s more, learned a VERY important lesson about your relationship: you no longer need to let the facts get in the way of a good story, because no one will call you out on it.

    My bestie Jenn and I once sat and watched some gorillas at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. It was fascinating. They were definitely acting like people. Did I say fascinating? I meant spooky.

    1. They are VERY people-like. In fact, some gorillas act more like people than people do sometimes. And I’m totally not referencing myself early in the morning there….except I totally am.

  7. The tactical egress is a perfectly acceptable course of action, given the circumstances. Sounds better than “ran away”, too 🙂

    As someone who relies on a good understanding of animal behavior every day to avoid being eaten, I think the gorilla’s motivation is pretty clear here. Gorilla’s are known to have a fondness for pretty human girls. He saw you as the Charlize Theron to his Mighty Joe Young…. the Faye Wray to his King Kong. He saw Mr. Thoughtful as competition and he was showing off to impress you. Kudos to Mr. Thoughtful for standing his ground and winning the staredown.

    I love zoos too. Ft. Worth has an awesome zoo if you’re ever up this way. The Dallas Zoo is pretty good also, though in recent years they have an annoying tendancy to let the gorillas escape and run amock. A 300lb male escaped several years ago and had to be shot by police after it injured several people. A somewhat smaller female escaped in 2010 and had to be darted, though thankfully she didn’t have to be killed.

    1. Oh! Well, not I feel bad for saying that gorilla needed anger management when actually he was being very sweet. 🙂

      Also, I LOVE the Ft. Worth zoo!!! It’s one of my favorite places in the world, I used to go all the time when I was younger and even celebrated my 25th birthday there.

      I hope the Dallas zoo has its act together now, I hate to hear about gorillas being shot.

  8. Captain Thoughtful seems like a good guy to have with you during a gorilla fight, but NOT a good apponent in a staring contest if he could stare a gorilla out with it being all mad and stuff. xx

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