A male gorilla named Ambam from England has learned to stand upright and walk in the manner humans do.
“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,” said zookeeper Phil Ridges (Source: BBC). Fully extended, he is about six feet tall.
Zoo keepers also speculated he does it in cold and wet weather to keep his upper appendages dry, and that it helps him carry more food when he doesn’t knuckle-walk. Ambam is a critically endangered Western lowland gorilla at the Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent. His father lived at the same facility, and was said to have also walked. Both his full sister and half sister have also been seen walking.
Whatever the reasons, it is quite striking, and if it was a common practice for all gorillas, it certainly would remove some doubt as to their closeness to humans.
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