Guests visiting the Port Lympne Zoo located in Kent, England, were in for quite the treat on this particular day. Much to their surprise, they got to witness a silverback gorilla walking around his enclosure just like a human!
The 28-year-old gorilla, named Ambam, was 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 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.
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.”
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 in the comments – and make sure you pass this along to your friends and family!