Watch a Provoked Adult Male Gorilla Slam the Glass at Zoogoers

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Updated: October 20, 2023
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The Dallas Zoo has a plethora of experiences and encounters for all animal lovers. Whether you want to peer up at the towering giraffes, get up-close-and-personal with a porcupine, or say hello to a hippo, there’s something for everyone. 

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In the “Wilds of Africa” area of the Texas zoo, you’ll find crocodiles, penguins, and gorillas. People often stand and watch the primate exhibit, due to the fascination of how closely we humans are related to these wild creatures. 

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for zoo visitors to try and provoke animals. This is often done by yelling or tapping on the glass. A group of travelers was stunned when a gorilla responded with anger after being provoked over and over again. 

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A video of the incident shows the giant animal sitting in a corner within its enclosure. While munching on some lettuce, the gorilla notices young children pounding on the glass. He slowly makes his way over, giving them a stare that should’ve made the kids stop in their tracks. 

Gorillas are gentle giants, despite their frequent portrayal as hostile and violent. By nature, they are reserved and shy, and typically only show aggression when they feel threatened. In actuality, wild gorillas are not nearly as dangerous as is commonly thought.

The one in this video is simply telling the humans to stop. He quickly punches the glass and runs to the other side of the enclosure in hopes of some peace and quiet. This action causes the zoo visitors to back up in fear of the glass possibly breaking. 

Gorillas in Captivity

Believe it or not, enclosure glass has been broken by a primate before. One of the most notable times this occurred was at the gorilla exhibit at a Nebraska zoo. There’s also been an incident of a gorilla escaping at the Dallas Zoo featured in this video. 

At this time, scientists agree that all of the apes in modern zoos, at least those in industrialized nations, were born and raised in captivity and would not be able to survive if “released free” into the jungles of Africa or Indonesia.

The gorilla is in danger. The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) believes that zoos are excellent venues for educating visitors about the natural world and the importance of conservation. Additionally, it is confirmed that most species survive longer in captivity since they are not threatened by predators and do not go without food. 

The gorilla who punched the glass in this now-viral video is safe and well taken care of. His response was completely natural and goes to show that just because we can look at animals as zoos, we should still treat them with the utmost respect. Take a look at the featured video below, along with some other shocking footage of primates in zoos! 

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Philippe Clement/

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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

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