Thursday, July 14, 2011

Aping the pros: Silverback with artistic temperament uses honey-covered video camera to film himself

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER

Preparation: Zoo staff cover the gorilla-proof box in tasty oats and honey


This cheeky ape curiously peers into the lens as he turns the tables and takes this high definition video - of himself.

Silverback gorilla Ya Kwanza, 27, is seen playfully filming himself with a camera hidden inside an indestructible box, which is covered in oats and honey.

The primate repeatedly holds the device up to his face and pokes the lens at Durrell Wildlife Park, Jersey.



Hair we go: Ya Kwanza is very curious about the bright yellow box


Snapping to it: The primate repeatedly holds the device up to his face and pokes the lens


But when it came to handing back the footage, Ya Kwanza went bananas and cheekily hurled the box out of his enclosure.

Expert Jon Stark, who has been taking care of critically-endangered western lowland gorillas for four years, came up with the idea after wondering what life from a primate's perspective looked like.

He said: ‘The animals here at the wildlife park regularly receive enrichment treats which encourage them to forage for food as much as they would in the wild and help to keep them mentally stimulated.


Eye eye: Ya Kwanza peers into the lens, giving a clear idea of what it would be like to come face to face with him


Hard to stomach: The gorilla films himself chewing a plastic card bearing the zoo's logo


Stubborn: At first Ya Kwanza doesn't want to give the box back and appears to pull an angry face at zoo staff


Lift-off: The huge silverback eventually launches the box back into the hands of the staff, so they can examine the footage


‘In an attempt to really get up close and personal we decided to install an HD camera in Ya Kwanza's daily enrichment device.’

Ya Kwanza will soon be leaving the island - where he has lived since 1993 - after failing to breed for eight years.

The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust has been famous for gorillas since 1986, when Jambo stood guard over a young boy who had fallen into his enclosure.

Ya Kwanza is already a celebrity after becoming the first gorilla ever to be born in Australia and the first of his species to have been conceived through artificial insemination.




source : dailymail


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