Gorilla Moment at the Riverbanks Zoo

We were all starring at him as he was fiddling with the bamboo leaves and stick. This was a rare treat indeed. The big boys out in plain view less then 4 feet in front of us. Out of the blue Mike raises the stick in the air gladiator style and lets out a shivering holler.

He looks menacing as he approaches the crowd. No one dares to make a move. Then without reason turns around and charges at Chalka. Did he just hit him in the head? Chalka, the alpha male and pack leader, refuses to fight and slowly heads up for the hills. As we say back in Romania “the wise man cedes first”. Flabbergasted I try desperately to set the camera on video and hope to capture something. Too late; everything is back to normal. Or so it seems.

This is the moment we all secretly hoped for. A full force display of the “800 pounds gorilla” in thriller motion. Enough with the melancholic stares, mindless fruit and leaves picking and the occasional eye contact piercing Darwinian guilt into your brains. We wanted action!

“Be careful what you wish for”…a recent National Geographic article – “Minds of their own” clearly demonstrates we are not the only intelligent specie on this planet. And yet although we were only separated by a thin fence I felt we were worlds apart.

Turned around and left with a sour taste in my mouth.