Gorilla Etiquette

Male Gorilla on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Male Gorilla on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 3600, EV 0, 300mm focal length.

Did you know staring to a gorilla is considered a threat or an act of aggression? Wonder what this male gorilla, who is a member of the bachelor troop at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, thought of the single large “eye” of my lens staring directly at him.

In fact, many of the things people do when seeing the gorillas on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail is considered rude by gorilla etiquette. You might want to keep these in mind the next time you see gorillas or other primates in an animal park.

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24 Responses to Gorilla Etiquette

  1. truels says:

    Hello Scott!!! It has been a long time since I have been home – and doing the things I do at home – including visiting my favorite blogs;-)
    Instead I have experienced many exciting things in the past 10 weeks – in Australia, Borneo and the Philippines … So I’m sure what many of my posts on my blog will be about this year!
    In Borneo, I met the orangutans in the rainforest in Danum Valley,Sabah. Not so close as the gorilla here in the animal park. But I can confirm the primate etiquette here!
    And what a great shot you got of this gorilla!


  2. Simone says:

    Gorgeous shot!
    My first though upon reading the heading and seeing the shot was: Uaaah, DON’T look them in the eye, it pisses them off!! Love the photograph.


  3. kanniduba says:

    This shot is amazing.

    They really are something to see, aren’t they? Such an intimidating powerful presence. My parents visited Pangani a couple of years ago, and as my 6’6″ tall Dad was quietly observing, the male came dashing toward the crowd and slammed his fists on the glass, obviously challenging my father. My parents were politely asked to move on by a very shaken trail attendant. 🙂


    • Your Dad must have brought out something in the male. He’s usually very laid back. Must have really surprised everyone.

      I know they strive there to allow them to act as natural as possible. Even allowing fights amongst the males which I have witnessed.


  4. Kurt Miller says:

    Great post. When I go to the zoo, I fit all of the things that anger them – I’ll have to try a bit harder next time, although they’re usually sleeping when I’m there.


  5. milkayphoto says:

    What a stunning portrait. He seems to be smiling and the eyes portray a gentleness. The crispness and the details are amazing!


  6. montucky says:

    That’s a great photo, but he doesn’t look like he’s very pleased with you.


  7. Beautiful portrait, Scott.


  8. Karma says:

    What a wonderful experience to get this great portrait! May I ask what the purpose of your very high ISO was? It appears to be a sunny day in the little bit of background that shows in this shot.


  9. Mike Criss says:

    Hey, I know that look. It is the same one he gave me in Feb. Your photo captures it much better though, I like it.


  10. Deanna says:

    Amazing photo! Maybe he knew you were going to take a great shot and gave you his best pose.


  11. Ever wonder what “they” think of us humans?
    Consider what their perspective might be on US.
    Beautiful portrait.


  12. Nye says:

    Thanks for the tips Scott, I’ll try to smile first, then aim and shoot. 🙂


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