Thursday, June 18, 2009

Even Our Gorillas Are Bad Ass

"CALGARY - Onlookers at the Calgary Zoo were shocked Tuesday when a western lowland gorilla picked up a knife and pointed it at a troop mate, then placed it on a chair for the keepers to remove. None of the gorillas was hurt in the incident, but it startled the 20 or so visitors--including children--who watched the scene unfold around 10:40 a. m. at the outdoor exhibit. "He grabbed the knife exactly in the correct position and he smelled it and looked at it," said Calgarian Joe Scheffler, who was at the zoo with his wife, Heike. "A few seconds later, another gorilla came and he was very interested. "He tried to get the knife, but the gorilla with the knife lifted the knife for his buddy . . . it seems to me that the gorilla with the knife was a little bit angry and he lifted his hand with the knife. "It was just (like) a scene from a crime," added Scheffler, whose wife snapped photos of the incident. Visitors were visibly shaken by the scene and wondered aloud where the gorilla would get a knife. Suddenly, as though it sensed danger, Scheffler said the second gorilla stepped away and the knife-wielding gorilla walked a short distance and placed it on an old chair in the exhibit. Laurie Herron, spokeswoman for the Calgary Zoo, said the knife was accidentally left by one of the gorilla keepers who was cleaning out the exhibit earlier Tuesday morning. "He dropped it," Herron explained. "One of the other keepers or a volunteer came and told him that the gorillas had a knife and he was like, 'Oh, crap.' "Herron said the keeper immediately herded the gorillas into the back of the enclosure and removed the knife before any of the gorillas got hurt. "He, of course, feels terrible that he dropped it," she said, noting the keeper was cutting hoses and ropes in the enclosure. "They are usually really careful because, when they have tools and things in there, I know they generally do a count of anything they have taken in. "But it was something that he dropped and didn't realize until somebody told him." All of the gorillas were checked and none of them had any cuts or scrapes from the knife, she said. Herron said the zoo will review the incident with the gorilla keepers to see whether they need to change any procedures for entering the enclosures. "They do try to be very, very careful," she said. "Obviously he just didn't notice that he dropped it." The incident comes on the heels of another mistake at the zoo. Earlier this year, zoo officials admitted it was human error (a lack of oxygen) that was likely the main cause for the suffocation deaths of 41 cow nose rays."

For those of you who say "Gorillas are not native to Canada" I remind you that since they are in OUR zoo and have their own passports they are recognized as Canadian citizens and are therefore officially bad ass Canadian gorillas.

1 comment:

wiec? said...

i saw this story at the end of the nightly local news here in NYC last night. pretty cool story. he found the knife and then put it on a chair.

what a good gorilla. i bet that zoo keeper caught an ear full.