Damian Aspinall’s Extraordinary Gorilla Encounter

By | May 18, 2010

Damian Aspinall's Extraordinary Gorilla Encounter

Conservationist Damian Aspinall raised Kwibi, a lowland gorilla, at Howletts Wild Animal Park in England. When Kwibi was five, he was released into the forests of Gabon, West Africa as part of program to re-introduce gorillas back into the wild. Five years later, Aspinall went in search of Kwibi, now 10-years-old, and much bigger, stronger and unpredictable. Here’s what happened:

An interesting insight into memory and emotion in our primate cousins. – via The Daily Grail


2 thoughts on “Damian Aspinall’s Extraordinary Gorilla Encounter

  1. Ann

    This is a really nice video about the gorilla’s attraction for his “friend,” the human.

    But, it is so very dangerous to be with wild animals. I don’t know if it’s true, but a Brit once told me about a keeper of animals in a park in England who had his arm literally torn from its socket and ripped from his body by a chimp in a sort of emotional outburst.

    Africa is such a beautiful place, though. In the places where I was in East Africa, I never saw a fence. Although the land may have been owned, at least by the state in some fashion or other, it certainly wasn’t occupied by humans in most places. In these areas are really wild animals. Even at the campus of the University of Dar es Salaam in the city of Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania, quite by accident I walked up to a baboon-like primate who was a meter or more tall and about 40 or so kg. on a second story balcony quietly eating a fruit he had picked from a nearby tree. I was startled because I didn’t expect to see such a large animal so close. He was only 2 or so meters away. He looked at me square in the eyes as I looked at him. But, he just finished his fruit and went on his way effortlessly reaching for and climbing onto a limb of a nearby tree. The strength these animals possess is incredible. They make any human, no matter how strong, appear so weak.

    At another time I was following a trail just outside the same city, when I saw something, I thought, was very beautiful hidden shrubbery along the trail. What was that? I thought, as I passed by it. I returned to see what it was. As I leaned over and peered into the bushes I discovered it was the hide of animal, a lizard, a monitor lizard, I found out later. It must have stood over a meter high because I didn’t have to bend over very far to be only inches away from it, before it grunted like a pig and went deeper into dark greenery. These animals are really dangerous, so I was told.

    But, the scariest experience was waking up one morning out in the bush and seeing large cat prints around the tent where I slept the night before.

    But, you know, no matter how wild and pristine these places are, Western civilization has made its mark. DDT and other petro-chemicals are found in the blood of these animals as they are found all over the world – even in the densest rain forests, to the arctic and the Antarctic. Even today after it was banned in 1972, carcinogenic DDT or its metabolites are found in breast milk of women in the U.S. Homo sapiens are really one messy animal which has not, yet, learned how to cleanup after itself.

Leave a Reply