Hehehe….really? Allow me to introduce you to ‘Gavin’ a full grown siverback gorilla..
"This guy is ripped…he has muscle on muscle. Gavin is around 5 times stronger than a puny human, he can weigh an impressive 160kg (350 pounds)— 195kg (430 pounds). He's mainly a vegetarian. And NO! You could never be this ripped on his diet, in fact you could never be this ripped full stop.
Take the biggest most muscular human on the planet and pit him against Gavin..lets call your human Bob!
"This is how Gavin see's Bob.
"This is what Bob see's.
Bob heard somewhere that beating your chest and mimicking the gorilla causes gorilla to stop and think…wrong Bob, very, very wrong! Gavin was just going to knock you into next month…now you've challenged him…oh dear, oh deary, deary me..
"Now Gavin doesn't want a fight but as he explains to the missus, ‘I'll be back in a moment, just gonna put this human in his place'!
"Yeah! Victory dance.
Images Courtesey of my Pinterest.
Any wild animal can be dangerous under certain conditions. These are, after all, wild animals, not domesticated pets. It’s my (admittedly non-expert) impression that the great apes are probably less aggressive than others. But they must be dealt with on their own terms, with behavior and “cultural” norms that “speak” to them in their own “language,” as Joshua James points out in his excellent post below.
A sow with her cubs, whether she’s a grizzly, a black bear, a Kodiak, or a polar bear, is among the most dangerous animals of all, and will almost certainly attack and kill you if she becomes aware of your presence, no matter how innocent and unintended your encounter might be, and even if it’s not what you would normally consider “close.”
The mating season always makes the males of most species (including, I’m afraid, ours — homo sapiens) paranoid, aggressive, and dangerous:
A bull elephant in “musth” often goes murderously insane until the hormones coursing through his bloodstream return to normal levels. A bull moose, an elk, and even a white tail buck can decide that he’s in no mood to be trifled with—by a hunter or even by a hiker or jogger who happens to stumble upon him. After all, what would a husband or boyfriend do if a stranger suddenly barged in on him while he was enjoying some romance with his lady?
Wild animals—all of them—are best enjoyed from a safe distance, and without their awareness of your presence.
The case of poor Harambe, when it hit the news, made me sick to my stomach. The small child’s parents were criminally negligent in allowing their little darling to fall over the wall into the gorilla pit. Harambe was clearly startled and alarmed at this sudden intrusion by an unfamiliar creature into his kingdom. He could have instantly killed the child, but he didn’t.
None of the video footage showed any attempt by the gorilla to harm the child.
The hysterical screams of the bystanders (including the child’s until-then completely indifferent mother) brought zoo authorities and sharpshooters with rifles.
“We couldn’t take the risk” of not killing the gorilla immediately was the explanation for shooting the gorilla to death.
Yes, I of course do understand their concern and fear (probably of a multimillion-dollar lawsuit and bad press, maybe even with charges of “racism”). But in this case, I disagreed, and I still do.
I wish that a (calm, very brave, obviously) gorilla trainer could have entered the pit (all of Harambe’s female mates had obediently retreated into their own cells when the trainers signaled them to do that, according to news accounts) and had offered him something of value in exchange for the baby — maybe a couple of bananas, or whatever Harambe’s favorite treat was.
If the “negotiation” had gone wrong, then, and only then, open fire.
But if it had gone right, with Harambe taking the bunch, peeling one off and giving it to the baby and then handing the baby over to the keeper, this would have been a happy ending, and worldwide news.