Watch This Male Silverback Snap and Break the Glass at the Zoo

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Updated: October 18, 2023
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The largest primates on the planet, gorillas live in the subtropical and tropical forests, as well as the mountains, of central Africa. They are mostly herbivorous primates, and there are Eastern lowland gorillas and mountain gorillas, respectively. 

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is home to Eastern lowland gorillas, while Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Cameroon, Gabon, and the Central African Republic are home to western lowland gorillas.

Animals like gorillas, and especially mountain gorillas, are in grave danger of going extinct. There are benefits and downsides to zoos. They raise animals for public display and work to instill a love of nature in young people. Zoos can also help animals reproduce and, as a result, help some species survive. 

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However, many gorillas are born in zoos and other types of captivity. Zoos, too, have also offered poachers a reason to lure wild and exotic animals into captivity. The testing of animal medications and therapies also requires zoos. On the contrary, too many gorillas have been taken from their natural habitat, sold, and transported to be kept in cages far from where they belong. 

Our society is becoming more and more concerned with animal abuse. Gorillas are highly clever creatures who are largely conscious of their surroundings in zoos. When kept in captivity, especially in some zoos where the enclosures are too small for their needs, they frequently exhibit depressive behaviors.

Govern Yourself Accordingly 

An example of a gorilla being sick of being stared at by visitors is seen in the video. While we think a trip to the zoo is entirely innocent, how we act around wild animals matters greatly. One behavior you want to avoid while around primates is direct eye contact. 

The leader of the gorilla family, known as a silverback, is always on the lookout for threats to the family’s tranquility and challenges them to battle. As a result, tourists are advised to maintain their composure around silverback gorillas

Anyone who maintains eye contact with a mountain gorilla is viewed as a rival and an enemy who has come to upend the family. Consequently, the silverback will charge and engage you in combat to protect his family if you make direct eye contact with him.

Visitors at a zoo got to experience the wrath of a silverback after too much eye contact from them. As he’s relaxing on a stone, the large primate begins to look irritated and instantly makes a swift kick at the protective shield between the humans and the gorilla. 

The kick ends up shattering the glass! The force of a typical gorilla punch ranges from 1300 to 2700 pounds. Take into account that the average untrained person punches with about 150 pounds of force. Now just imagine what their powerful legs can do! 

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

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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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