Silverback Charges Children at the Zoo, And Breaks The Protective Glass

Written by Angie Menjivar
Updated: June 15, 2022
Image Credit Philippe Clement/
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A zoo is an unusual place—one where wild animals and tiny humans are separated by glass. It’s where two worlds collide in a way unlike they ever could in a natural environment.

But sometimes, we’re reminded of just how thin that separation can be, and how powerful these animals truly are.

The video starts with an adult male silverback gorilla facing away from the camera, two front arms with tight fists against the grass, and his attention off to the left. Children can be heard murmuring excitedly when a man’s voice comes through and says, “I think he’s about to do something crazy.”

Well, sir, turns out you’re right! Just give it a minute.

The gorilla then turns his attention over to his right, where he can presumably see the humans gawking at him from the other side of the glass. He takes a seat, his back legs spread, arms still hanging down in front of him with his fists supporting his weight.

He seems relaxed as he looks over to his left and to his right again before walking off, away from the person holding the camera. As the silverback loses interest, the man pans the camera to another part of the enclosure, where two other gorillas can be seen in front of a circular window.

The man behind the camera jokes that the other gorillas are “picking their boogers,” as onlookers, including children, giggle at his comment. He walks around to another window and a woman along with two young kids are seen smiling, enjoying the rare sight.

In the background, the gorilla can be seen looking off into another window, where other zoo-goers are taking their turns looking in on the gorillas.

Suddenly, the silverback turns back toward where the man had been standing and charges toward the glass. There is no one standing there, and the man exclaims in surprise with an “Oh!” before nervously laughing off the moment.

The gorilla charged but didn’t touch the glass. He just made a swift right turn as he approached.

The man continues recording the silverback as he stares off into the distance. He keeps recording as the silverback walks away, toward a large rock surrounded by shrubs.

The silverback takes a look back, as if to confirm where his fans are located, and stands atop the slightly slanted hill. Another gorilla can be seen walking in from the left, just a few feet from the glass.

This second gorilla stands close and the reflection of one of the children can be seen just against the dark fur. The child mimics gorilla behavior with chest-pounding, giggling at the awe-inspiring sight.

Without making eye contact, the gorilla in the back starts to run toward the onlookers at a startling speed that’s hard for the cameraman to even capture.

Before you know it, the silverback hurls himself onto the glass, fists up and with intention. Immediately the glass cracks and threatens to break. Who knows how many more hits it would have taken for the gorilla to come careening through.

The cameraman yells “Oh, man!” and can be seen running away, ushering the children through double doors.

Relieved, nervous laughter ensues from the families behind the glass once they realize they’re safe.

Families with kiddos watch gorillas at the zoo.

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About the Author

Angie is a writer with over 10 years of experience developing content for product and brand reviews, focusing much of her time on animals of all types. A cat owner herself, she enjoys writing articles on beloved pets that both inform and entertain her audience.

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