While the world continues to mourn the death of the Harambe, a new gorilla has arrived on the scene.
Internet, meet Zola.
Last Tuesday, the Dallas Zoo released footage of Zola, a 14-year old Western Lowland male gorilla going absolutely, well, ape, in a kiddie pool.
What you have here is the internet equivalent of crack: a gorilla, a pool and wild dance moves.
With those ingredients, the video was always destined for greatness and since hitting the interwebs it has racked up over 1.8 million views.
At some point, someone suggested adding the song “Maniac” to the background, so that’s just what happened.
I added some music to this. pic.twitter.com/UwjhTKpaeu
— Bob Hagh (@BobHagh) June 22, 2017
When we see animals doing stuff like this a question often arises. Is the animal actually enjoying itself? We humans have a habit of anthropomorphizing the things around us. Often times, we ascribe feelings or thoughts to our furry friends that simply aren’t there.
My brother’s dog, Cooper, is a 15-year-old Red Heeler. When I see Cooper doing his roll in the backyard, he looks ecstatic. But maybe he just has an itchy back. He’s not smiling. Or is he?
Regarding Zola, The Washington Post decided to dig a little deeper and asked the Dallas Zoo and some experts whether the gorilla was having as much fun as was apparent.
The consensus is that yes, Zola was having a blast.
“If you look closely at the zoo video, you can see the twirling gorilla has an open-mouthed play face…Zola is having fun. What surprises people who don’t know gorillas is how inventive and joyful their play can be, and how graceful they are,” Ian Redmond, a renowned conservationist and the founder of the Ape Alliance told The Washington Post.
Although gorillas can’t swim, other experts agreed that they do enjoy splashing about. Younger gorillas are also known for play which includes swinging on vines and spinning around till they get dizzy.
In a blog post, Dallas Zoo mammal curator Keith Zdrojewski said that the pool is one of several “enrichment items” that zookeepers use to engage the gorillas.
We hope that the Dallas Zoo keeps us updated on Zola.
Dance (and roll) like nobody’s watching, you good things.