The primates have always left me mesmerized; observing them closely reveals their captivating nature, offering valuable insights into our evolutionary history as humans. Their appendages, resembling ours, evoke a sense of familiarity. If we happen to come across one at close quarters, their expressions seem to convey a deep understanding.
Interestingly, Ambam, a 27-year-old western lowland gorilla living in an animal park in Kent, England, exhibits behavior that establishes a closer connection with human conduct. He often walks upright and stands on his hind legs for extended periods.
Although gorillas are known to stand on two legs, Ambam displays this behavior more frequently than others of his kind. His impressive ability to walk like a human has earned him worldwide fame through video footage captured at Port Lympne wild animal park near Hythe.
According to a park spokesperson cited by the Daily Mail, Ambam’s talent is not unique among his family members. His sister Tamba and her two-year-old son Kabale also exhibit similar behavior.
Head of gorillas Phil Ridges said: “All gorillas have the ability to stand upright to some degree, although they often choose not to,” Phil Ridges said. “But Ambam and his sister have a particular talent at standing and walking completely upright on two legs.”
Ambam, the heaviest gorilla at Port Lympne weighing 220kg, has a lifespan of 30 to 50 years. He was born in 1990 at Howletts, the park’s affiliated site. However, when he fell ill at the age of one, he had to be removed from his mother, Shumba, and hand-raised for a few months.
The exact number of western lowland gorillas is challenging to ascertain because they reside in some of the most dense and remote rainforests of Africa. Nevertheless, according to wildlife experts, their population has dwindled by over 60% in the past 20 to 25 years mostly due to poaching.
Watching Ambam move in the video below is truly remarkable and worth a look: