April 25, 2008

Attack of the Killer Apes

The gorillas aren't happy. You'd think with their new enclosure at the zoo that took over two years to make, they'd be thrilled with all the extra space and landscaping. You'd think a gorilla would appreciate the fact that he gets to live in sunny California and not have to deal with those Debbie Downer monsoons. But no, not our gorillas. My violin student reported to me that on her last trip to the zoo the gorillas were flinging poop at the visitors. This is no small task as the thick, glass viewing wall extends almost 15 feet but fling they did and her friend got a jumbo souvenir on her shoulder.

But there is no fighting the urge on a beautiful Saturday with freshly dressed kids. You've just got to hit the zoo.

The new gorilla enclosure houses six gorillas. Four females, one baby, and a huge silverback. I'd never seen the silverback out before, but we were hoping that by getting to the zoo early we'd catch him before his siesta. And we did. Despite the many Angelenos crowding at the glass, trying to get a look, my three year old Pixie managed to press her face right up against the glass, staring at the gigantic male. He must have been 300 pounds and was pure muscle. "Don't look in his eyes!" came a girl's voice from the crowd. So of course we all had to stare into his navy eyes.

The gorilla looked our way and walked towards Pixie. Her face was pressed against the glass and she didn't even flinch when the gorilla pressed his face against hers. Everyone ooohed and ahhed while the two shared a moment. Then the gorilla slowly backed up and lumbered about 20 feet back into the enclosure. He turned, and ran full speed back towards Pixie, leaping high in the air at the last second and slamming his entire massive body against the glass where she was standing. BOOM!

The air was suddenly full of babies crying and women shrieking. So much for Pixie's tender moment. She was the only human under four feet tall who wasn't screaming bloody murder. With a blank face, she slowly turned and asked me if we could see the zebras now. I wasn't going to wait for it to start raining poop so we high tailed it out of there. I made a mental note that coming to the zoo early when the animals are "lively" maybe isn't such a good idea after all. We managed to escape before the pooh flinging began but could hear the booming echos of the male pounding on the glass as we scuttled up the path. I'd never been more anxious to see the zebras in my life.

For any Angelenos going to the L.A. Zoo this summer, be warned and bring sunglasses and an umbrella when visiting the gorilla enclosure. You don't want to unwittingly engage in a staring contest with a brute ape and end up plastered with excrement. He's a pretty sore loser.

14 comments:

Nancy Sabina said...

Oh my gosh! That is unbelievable! I think I probably would have forgotten all about my kids and run the opposite way. Freaky. That monkey needs a mood stabilizer. Pixie must be one hard to impress little girl.

tracy m said...

I have a strange feeling Pixie is going to have a long-lasting, unexplainable aversion to the great apes from here on out.

Wow.

Hope the zebras were nicer!

Chris & Allie said...

Does anything get to Pixie?????

Hollywood said...

A TON gets to her. Weird stuff though. Like when I pull her bangs back out her face she freaks out and says that she looks like a "strange little man." And when I try and make her wear pants she throws a fit because "princesses don't wear pants." And if I try calling her by her name she has another freak out and reminds me that her name is really Ariel/Sleeping Beauty/Belle/Giselle/or any other princess of the day. It's tough living with a diva.

Colleen said...

Seriously, she didn't even react to attempted murder by a ginormous gorilla? That's one tough princess!

angela michelle said...

BLLLAAAAAAAAA!

Emmy said...

Maybe she will have a delayed reaction to the gorilla! Hopefully not in the nightmare form. That is crazy she didn't start crying. My princess yells at me if I don't call her by the princess of the day name. She also goes through dresses like water, changing every few hours and hates when I wash them because she has to wear pants.

Jamie J said...

Ahhh! I would have been so freaked out!

A couple years ago we were at the zoo and had a complete opposite reaction with the gorillas. They were ignoring everyone and everything looking at them. Until my daughter came up to the glass and she just stuck her hand flat on the glass. Then the female put her hand up to Rachel's. She was very tender. It was a cute moment. I'm glad there wasn't any glass banging!

Amy said...

I saw a chimp at the zoo throw his own poop at the crowd once. It was cool, but probably only because it didn't land on me.

Mrs. M said...

Clearly I've been going way too late in the day because I have seen NOTHING happening in gorilla land other than some sitting and maybe a little meandering. We'll have to hit it earlier next time!

Glad Pixie is unphased. Give us an update if that changes.

Perla said...

that is a super cool and super nutty story! glad pixie was not phased. a very brave pink pegasus princess webkinz she is! (that is the name of my daughter's soccer team that i coach)

Jessica G. said...

Dude...and I thought it was creepy when the albino crocodile started tracking my daughter around his exhibit!

I am totally impressed that Pixie wasn't phased.

Jenny said...

How are you such a magnet for freaky things like this? That gorilla just wanted to get on your blog, I know it...

Jenny said...
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