A 286-pound gorilla escaped from his cage in the Berlin zoo on Tuesday, causing momentary panic. The eight-year-old silverback gorilla either climbed or leaped the 15-foot plate glass walls of his enclosure and began to stroll around the zoo grounds.
“He just stood and scratched himself. He looked awesome but not fierce,” Berlin zoo visitor Husam Shawabakeh said.
“Gorillas are gentle but very powerful,” Zoo boss Heiner Kloes added. “He could have hurt someone badly.”
Zoo keepers caught the gorilla and led him back to his cage before anyone was hurt. This is the second time in the last few months a gorilla has escaped, though the last time three people were attacked and the gorilla was shot to death by police.
An injured monkey paid a visit to a Hong Kong high school yesterday, disrupting students and leading officials on a three-hour chase before escaping into the wild. A teacher spotted the macaque in the hallway, presumably late for class. It isn’t clear how the monkey was injured or where it came from, though “Monkey Mountain” is nearby, home to Hong Kong’s roughly 1,450 wild monkeys.
If you’re a monkey, don’t play in Travis Allen Ballard’s South African garden. Ballard shot a vervet monkey with a pellet gun, and according to witnesses, continued to take potshots at other monkeys who were trying to assist the injured animal. Ballard was later fined $465 and the injured monkey was euthanased. The deregulation of pellet guns has resulted in a spree of animal shootings.
Have you seen a monkey on Saint Paul Mayor Randy Kelly’s back? During a recent trip to Thailand a monkey jumped onto to the mayor’s back during a tour of a Cambodian monastery. Kelly had asked reporters not to photograph the incident, though rumor is someone has a ‘monkey on Kelly’s back’ screensaver. We can only hope it will eventually pop up on the Internet.
What’s better than monkey games when you’re looking to kill an afternoon? Check out these addictive flash games:
- Monkey Lander – You can never get enough monkeys in space. Help the monkey nab prizes and land his spacecraft without hitting anything.
- Monkey Snowfight – A two player game where you lob snowballs at one another. Choose the size, angle, and velocity of your throws.
The Zoological Society of London is looking for volunteers to act like chimps. It’s part of a study comparing human and chimpanzee behaviors. The basic idea is that chimpanzee are most closely related to humans, so the study hopes to discover how their expressions and behaviors might be helpful to humans. Apparently grunting noises and dominence displays can bring harmony to the workplace. Understandably, not everyone is impressed.
Now the Hunger Site is helping more than people. You can adopt your very own red howler monkey to make sure it’s fed and cared for while being taught to survive in the wild.
A gorilla escaped from his exhibit last week at the Dallas Zoo and attacked three people before being shot to death by police. Now zoo officials say two teen boys were seen throwing rocks or ice at the gorilla shortly before he escaped. They speculate the taunting may have made the gorilla angry enough to find a way past 12 to 16 foot walls, moats, and electrified wires. The lesson here: don’t perturb a primate.
New York City animal control officer removed six monkeys and a tarantula from a two-bedroom Manhattan apartment last week. Neighbors had complained about the noise and city statutes forbid exotic pets. The monkeys are currently being held at an animal shelter until a permanent home can be found. Their owner, Orlando Lopez, was distraught, vowing to move out of the city along with his cat, dogs, and fish in order to keep the monkeys.
A stuffed monkey from an Ohio elementary school recently returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. The monkey, named Nana, traveled to Afghanistan last year with other goods for the U.S. troops. Nana spent almost a year with the 71st Expeditionary Rescue Squadron, accompanying them on missions and even jumping out of a plane at 3,000 feet. Lt. Col. Randy McCasland said Nana became a welcome stress reliever for the troops. The monkey returned with pictures and a journal, proving once and for all that monkeys can do more than star in commercials and be the pets of arch villains.