Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Western Lowland Gorillas at Columbia South Carolina’s Riverbanks Zoo

01 Gorilla
Last week I visited Columbia’s remarkable Riverbanks Zoo again. This time to see “Patrick,” a twenty-three-year-old male gorilla who arrived from Dallas late last year. Click here to read the Zoo’s recent press release on his arrival.
In the event, Patrick wasn’t on display. But I did get to spend time watching the Zoo’s three other male western lowland gorillas:  Chaka, Mike, and Ajari. Ajari’s the youngster of the group at only 13, while Chaka, 29, is the dominant male. I think that’s Chaka you see in the photo above.
Two USC anthropology students were observing the gorillas and taking notes when I arrived. Field research for a class project, I suspect. They knew a good bit about gorillas in general, and about these gorillas in particular, and kindly explained what was going on.
Here’s a short video I put together from video clips and photos taken during the visit. These are magnificent animals.
It’s impossible to walk more than fifteen feet at the Riverbanks Zoo without snapping photos or recording video. More to come, including elephants, grizzly bears, and lions.

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