27 Jan 2011

A gorilla that walks like a human becomes internet celebrity

A gorilla that was caught on camera walking like a human has become an internet hit. The animal’s keepers say Ambam’s behaviour has made him quite a celebrity.

The gorilla lives at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent.

Ambam was captured on camera by an animal researcher and the footage has had around 200,000 hits on YouTube.

The 21-year old western lowland gorilla weighs around 220kg and stands at 6ft tall.

Ambam was hand raised for a few months when he was a year old because he became very ill and as a last resort he had to be taken away from his mother Shumba.

The gorilla that walks like a human

Celebrity gorilla

Animal Park staff say Ambam’s behaviour is not new

Gorilla keeper Phil Ridges said: “Ambam’s father Bitam used to display the same behaviour if he had handfuls of food to carry. 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.

“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.

“Ambam can also carry a lot more food if he stands and uses both hands and walking on two feet also means he doesn’t get his hands wet when it is raining!”

Picture courtesy of Kevin Jenner