Posted by: joha5 | January 27, 2011

Walking the Walk: Ambam the Gorilla Strolls on Hind Legs

A gorilla has achieved fame for walking upright on his hind legs like a human at a British animal park.  Ambam, a Western lowland gorilla, was filmed strolling about his enclosure by animal researcher Johanna Watson.  She posted the clip on YouTube where it has been viewed by more than 250,000 people.

Ambam, a 21-year-old silverback, is part of a bachelor group of the critically endangered animals at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, which is run by an international conservation charity, The Aspinall Foundation.  Gorilla keeper Phil Ridges said Ambam, who now weighs 485 pounds, had been hand-reared at another animal park when he was a one-year-old for several months because he was ill.  He said the human-like walking style seemed to run in the family.

“Ambam’s father Bitam used to display the same behavior if he had handfuls of food to carry,” Ridges said in a statement. “Ambam also has a full sister, Tamba, and a half-sister … 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,” he added. “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.”  Ridges added that Ambam could also carry more food if his hands were freed from walking and it also meant “he doesn’t get his hands wet when it is raining.”

Genius, missing link, or homeless man in a gorilla costume? You decide.

It seems clear to me that Ambam is either a genius, the missing link, or a homeless man in a gorilla costume.  Any way you slice it, you have to give this gorilla respect.

Special thanks to www.msnbc.com

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