27 January 2011

Upright locomotion by Western Lowland gorilla

From Aspinall Foundation's Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent (South East of England), a male silverback Western Lowland gorilla named Ambam was shown walking upright as filmed by Johanna Watson. See 'Gorilla Walks Like A Man' (Aspinall Foundation)

According to keeper Phil Ridges
Ambam's father Bitam used to display the same behaviour if he had handfuls of food to carry. Ambam also has a full sister, Tamba, and a half sister at Howletts, who also sometimes stand and walk in the same way. All gorillas can do it to some extent but we haven't got any who do it like Ambam and he is quite a celebrity at the park.

We think he might use it to get a height advantage to look over the wall when keepers come to feed him and standing up can also help him in looking for food generally in his enclosure as it gives him a better vantage point. Ambam can also carry a lot more food if he stands and uses both hands and walking on two feet also means he doesn't get his hands wet when it is raining!
Channel 4 News has reported that Ambam has become an internet celebrity.

Gorillas have short legs.

No comments: