6-Foot Gorilla Surprises Zookeepers In Rare Footage Gaining Online Traction

Apr 20, 2023 by apost team

Human beings and animals are not that much different; from feeling the same emotions such as joy, grief and excitement among others, animals can also have some interesting human-life features and expressions once in a while. This is especially true for chimps and apes, as human beings share at least 96% of their DNA with primates, according to the American Museum of Natural History. 

Even though the overlap in DNA is so high, primates are quite distinct from people in how they behave. However, once in a while, our primate cousins show us that they are more like us than we can imagine. 

Guests visiting the Port Lympne Zoo located in Kent, England, were in for quite the treat in January 2011 when much to their surprise, they got to witness a silverback gorilla walking around his enclosure just like a human!

Ambam is a Western Lowland gorilla, meaning that his species is currently critically endangered. The then-28-year-old gorilla was caught on camera showing off the talent that he learned from his father.

Ambam doesn’t always walk on two legs, however. He behaves like any normal gorilla, hanging out with his peers, snacking on some tasty plants, and walking on his knuckles like the other gorillas.

Ambam’s home in Port Lympne is a wildlife preserve that dozens of animals call their home. He’s the second generation of his lineage that has lived there, and many other types of endangered species, such as black rhinos and African elephants, live there in order to be bred to keep the species alive.

Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video :-) 

However, the part of the zoo that is most notable is the Palace of the Apes. This is a huge deal for the species because all of the different types of gorillas are becoming more and more endangered over time. It's amazing to see a place so committed to caring for these undermined species and allowing the public to take part in witnessing their beautiful existence.

Ambam is one of the largest silverback gorillas that resides in Port Lympne. He stands at an impressive six feet tall! Although this isn’t literal for most gorillas, it is for Ambam. Mimicking the way humans walk and stand, he often stands at his full height, walking around the enclosure on two legs. Although it isn’t entirely clear who he learned it from, the Gorilla keeper Phil Ridges believes that he learned it from his father, who also used to stand in this manner.

"Ambam’s father Bitam used to display the same behavior if he had handfuls of food to carry," Ridges said, according to NBC. "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 continued. "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."


BBC News reported that Ridges also added, "We have had a lot of speculation that it is a man in a gorilla suit or that he has been trained to do this, but Ambam has not been trained in any way. It is just something he chooses and is able to do."

While Ambam was one of the first gorillas to achieve fame for walking on his hind legs like a human, another gorilla named Louis also made a name for himself for doing the same thing. Louis has been one of the stars at Philadelphia Zoo ever since, and research stated that this type of behavior might shed some light on the evolution of humans walking on two feet, according to CBS News. 

Michael Stern, a curator at the Philadelphia Zoo, said, "Gorillas will occasionally stand up for a few seconds or walk a couple of steps, but what we see Louis doing is really walking clear across the yard, and that's quite special." 

Stern also added: "Gorillas are such intriguing animals, and you can tell immediately when you look into their eyes that they are so similar to us, that they are so intelligent. And yet there is something so animalistic about them, and powerful. So when you see one acting even more human by walking upright like that, it just makes you realize, wow, those are pretty amazing animals. The world is amazing; nature is amazing." 

Certainly, when videos like this are uploaded onto the internet and show us how amazing animals and nature can be, we cannot help but agree with this sentiment!

Ambam’s sister has also adopted his habit but doesn’t do it as frequently as her male sibling. What do you think about Ambam’s amazing walk? Would you visit the zoo to see his unusual method of transportation? Let us know – and make sure you pass this along to your friends and family!

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