Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Caught on camera, the terrifying moment a gorilla dragged a tourist off into the jungle
The Mail ^ | 4th January 2008 | staff reporter

Posted on 01/05/2008 6:40:55 AM PST by Daffynition

He weighs more than 30 stone and is nearly 6ft tall. Built like a brick outhouse, he could probably crush your skull in his hand.

So the important thing to remember when you're invited into a silverback gorilla's backyard is just who's the boss. Oh, yes. And don't look him in the eye unless you want to start a fight.

Sighting: The group of tourists catch their first glimpse of the 30 stone male as they wade through the Rwanda undergrowth

Scarey: Suddenly, the silverback rears up and pounds his chest with his huge fists

Snarling: Next second, the tourists reel back in terror as the gorilla launches itself at them

Snatched: With astonishing strength, the male hauls away a man in a blue anorak

Safe: White-faced with shock, the hapless tourist finally makes it back to his companions

These were the golden rules that a hapless tourist might have forgotten when he encountered the biggest and strongest primate on Earth on its home territory in Rwanda.

One moment he was standing with a video camera as the magnificent creature quietly held court before a group of sightseeers. The next, he was being dragged backwards through the undergrowth to a terrifyingly uncertain fate.

Quite what provoked the normally placid silverback into stamping his authority so forcefully is uncertain.

He has long been the undisputed leader of a family of gorillas in the 39-strong Susa group that inhabits the Virunga mountain forests on the northern border of Rwanda, Uganda and the Congo, and is well used to dealing with troublemakers.

He is even quite chummy with humans, whose money and patronage helps support the planet's desperately dwindling gorilla population.

There are currently fewer than 650 individuals scattered across several hundred square miles of this region and, without help, they could vanish.

So it's clearly a jungle out there – and sometimes homo sapiens can suffer the consequences for taking liberties with our most intelligent mammalian cousins.

The clue probably came when the male started to parade intimidatingly close to the group of tourists, led by local rangers – beating his breast like a drum.

Suddenly, he charged at the crowd. Then he snatched a blue-anoraked man by one ankle and dragged him towards the trees.

Maybe the thrill of seeing gorillas in the wild had caused the tourist to forget the advice the rangers would have given before everyone set off on the trek – no flashguns... no noise... don't point... look away if they make eye contact... and melt into the ground if they charge.

It worked a treat for Sir David Attenborough – but whispering subservience patently wasn't adequate this time. One likely explanation is that the tourist – an American – got between the male gorilla and the true object of its attentions, a young female on the far side of the group.

Or perhaps the gorilla was simply being playful (not that it would have seemed like that to someone being kidnapped by a chest-thumping male like this one, of course).

"Playful" could have involved tossing the man against a tree, or cuffing him jovially around the face. Precisely what happened between man and beast in the few seconds the pair disappeared is difficult to establish.

Rangers stepped in to separate them by whacking the gorilla with sticks and waving bright clothing.

The tourist emerged unscathed, although somewhat shocked, according to onlookers. The gorilla went back to its lunch – and never gave any clue to what happened.

Thus, the encounter remains one of the many fascinations these beautiful and awesomely powerful creatures hold for Man.

But at the very least, it may have provided the answer to that age-old schoolboy riddle: What does a 30-stone gorilla do when he's sitting on your lap?

Answer: Anything he jolly well likes.


TOPICS: Outdoors; Pets/Animals; Travel
KEYWORDS: gorillas; wildlife
More pix at source.
1 posted on 01/05/2008 6:40:57 AM PST by Daffynition
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Daffynition

It was Hillary... whe wanted the blue dress back...


2 posted on 01/05/2008 6:44:43 AM PST by xcamel (FDT/2008)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mr. Silverback

!!!!!


3 posted on 01/05/2008 6:45:17 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Daffynition

Hmm, let’s see. Day after day, groups of gorillas tramp through my living room and I wouldn’t get upset after a while and bop one on the head with the remote?


4 posted on 01/05/2008 6:51:55 AM PST by mtbopfuyn (I think the border is kind of an artificial barrier - San Antonio councilwoman Patti Radle)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Daffynition

It is not good to stand so close to a full grown silverback male gorilla. Look at the first picture and you will see that they provoked him by coming dangerously close to him.


5 posted on 01/05/2008 6:55:05 AM PST by kindred ( The front runners of GOP are big governement anti freedom social liberals;like dems.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Daffynition

What this incident reminds me of:
The gorilla: Radical Islam
The tourists: American Liberals
Their comment: “Nobody told us they could be dangerous!”


6 posted on 01/05/2008 6:59:42 AM PST by whipitgood (Let's burn some MEXICAN flags!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Daffynition
got between the male gorilla and the true object of its attentions, a young female


7 posted on 01/05/2008 7:03:24 AM PST by cowboyway ("No damn man kills me and lives." -- Nathan Bedford Forrest)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mtbopfuyn
Reminds me of the guy who was taking pictures of a pride of lions. Not getting the action shot he hoped for he walked up and slapped on of the lions on the flank.

The results were both predictable and bloody.

They are called wild creatures for a reason. Calculated what you think is a "safe distance" and then double it. And even then you are still going to occasionally lose a tourist.

8 posted on 01/05/2008 7:05:06 AM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (A good marriage is like a casserole, only those responsible for it really know what goes into it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Daffynition

Why are people so shocked to find out that wild animals are...wild animals?


9 posted on 01/05/2008 7:07:06 AM PST by GiovannaNicoletta
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mtbopfuyn; kindred

10 posted on 01/05/2008 7:07:41 AM PST by Daffynition (The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Daffynition

I’m sorry guys,...too much camera blur, ...let me reset the shutter speed and aperature settings,..and one more time from the top,...lets walk back over there and this time just a little closer so I can get everybody in the frame....


11 posted on 01/05/2008 7:11:46 AM PST by Cvengr (Every believer is a grenade. Arrogance is the grenade pin. Pull the pin and fragment your life.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cvengr
LOL ... is that a Canon or are you just happy to see me?


12 posted on 01/05/2008 7:17:51 AM PST by Daffynition (The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Daffynition

Always have very big gun handy when getting up close and personal with animals, especially big animals.


13 posted on 01/05/2008 7:20:36 AM PST by Tarpon (Ignorance, the most expensive commodity produced by mankind.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cagey; MotleyGirl70

14 posted on 01/05/2008 7:24:06 AM PST by Daffynition (The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kindred
Several years ago, I saw a mature male silverback gorilla up close and personal at the Knoxville, Tennessee Zoo (one of the finest in the country) as it sat back against the safety glass in the observation area.

The sheer size, power, and beauty of these animals is simply amazing!

15 posted on 01/05/2008 7:24:36 AM PST by Virginia Ridgerunner (“We must not forget that there is a war on and our troops are in the thick of it!” --Duncan Hunter)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Harmless Teddy Bear
Reminds me of the guy who was taking pictures of a pride of lions. Not getting the action shot he hoped for he walked up and slapped on of the lions on the flank.

Sounds like a real "Here, hold muh catnip" moment!

Full Disclosure -- did a double take when I read your screen name. What happens when a tourist slaps you on the flank?

16 posted on 01/05/2008 7:30:38 AM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: cowboyway

"Go ahead eat me. If you're going to eat me just do it." (Or something very close to that)

17 posted on 01/05/2008 7:47:12 AM PST by raybbr (You think it's bad now - wait till the anchor babies start to vote!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Virginia Ridgerunner
I saw a mature male silverback gorilla up close and personal at the Knoxville, Tennessee Zoo (one of the finest in the country) as it sat back against the safety glass in the observation area

I still recall my 18 month old daughter rounding a corner in the ape house at the National Zoo in Washington and coming face to face with a "30 stone" gorilla behind a sheet of safety glass. I think the exhibit is designed for shock value, you round a corner and are confronted by a live gorilla. The effect on pre-toddler was pretty dramatic. (She didn't burst out crying, just pulled up abruptly and recoiled a bit. When Daddy and Mommy didn't show any alarm (after a second) she recovered fine. )

18 posted on 01/05/2008 7:58:16 AM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (Being an idealist excuses nothing. Hitler was an idealist.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Daffynition
And don't look him in the eye unless you want to start a fight.

Sounds like an L.A. gang thug.

19 posted on 01/05/2008 7:58:49 AM PST by BenLurkin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Daffynition
One likely explanation is that the tourist – an American – got between the male gorilla and the true object of its attentions, a young female


20 posted on 01/05/2008 8:01:48 AM PST by lowbridge
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Daffynition
White-faced with shock, the hapless tourist finally makes it back to his companions

We honkies normally look "white-faced."

More seriously, this gorilla could have easily killed the tourist and the guides who came to his rescue, if he wanted to. Knowing that gorillas are normally not aggressive, the tour group ignored the gorilla's threat display and got too close, so the ape escalated the threat communication.

21 posted on 01/05/2008 8:03:16 AM PST by hellbender
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mr. Silverback

ping


22 posted on 01/05/2008 8:20:59 AM PST by BenLurkin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: lowbridge
Who have you been hangin' 'round? ;)


23 posted on 01/05/2008 8:35:36 AM PST by Daffynition (The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin

LOL ... or a savvy NYer.


24 posted on 01/05/2008 8:36:18 AM PST by Daffynition (The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Daffynition

The gorilla was just making a citizens arrest of a trespasser.


25 posted on 01/05/2008 8:50:17 AM PST by SouthTexas (Happy New Year!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Daffynition

“melt into the ground if they charge.”

Maybe he wasn’t too good at melting into the ground.


26 posted on 01/05/2008 8:37:39 PM PST by Peace Is Coming
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mr. Silverback
So he made eye contact, big deal. You didn’t need to drag him off and scare him ****less.

;-)

27 posted on 01/05/2008 10:02:25 PM PST by dighton
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: raybbr
"Go ahead eat me. If you're going to eat me just do it." (Or something very close to that)

Well, you have to admit that back then, before she got involved with politics, she WAS rather yummy...

Mark

28 posted on 01/06/2008 1:35:00 AM PST by MarkL
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Tijeras_Slim

It wasn’t me. I have witnesses!


29 posted on 01/06/2008 7:42:34 PM PST by Mr. Silverback (Support Scouting: Raising boys to be strong men and politically incorrect at the same time.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Daffynition; Tijeras_Slim
So the important thing to remember when you're invited into a silverback gorilla's backyard is just who's the boss. Oh, yes. And don't look him in the eye unless you want to start a fight.

Yeah, I have to post signs on my yard and everything.

30 posted on 01/06/2008 7:43:43 PM PST by Mr. Silverback (Support Scouting: Raising boys to be strong men and politically incorrect at the same time.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dighton

LOL! See posts 29 & 30.


31 posted on 01/06/2008 7:50:11 PM PST by Mr. Silverback (Support Scouting: Raising boys to be strong men and politically incorrect at the same time.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson