Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Chest-beating wizard banned from wildlife park after his chanting upset the gorillas

A self-proclaimed wizard from Christchurch, New Zealand, has been banned from Orana Wildlife Park after he began chanting and beating his chest at the gorillas.

Orana staff say Andrew Wright's actions riled their largest gorilla so much he charged the glass to try to get at his tormentor. Gorilla keeper Rob Clifford says he told Mr Wright that his actions were upsetting the three gorillas.

But Mr Wright says he believed they were reacting positively to him. "Their perception is 'it's great, the gorilla high-fived me' [when it slaps] the glass," Mr Clifford said. "[Or] 'the gorilla played tag with me' which was a shoulder-charge to the glass.

"It's an uneducated view on what actually happened." Mr Wright has had his membership to the park revoked indefinitely and Orana staff say people are welcome to visit the gorillas, as long as they don't act like one.

With news video.

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