Your teenage years are usually characterised as a time in which a formerly docile child develops a more self-aware ego, and thus begins to question the social structures and assumptions of the adult world, and challenge the dominance that the older generation asserts. It’s a time of rebellion; when you start embracing new habits and trends, and listen to new music, read new books, and enjoy forms of culture that you were previously denied.
Of course, this usually manifests itself as hoodlumism. Even I, a perennial nerd if ever there was one, engaged in screaming matches with my parents, vocally resented authority, and spent a lot of time getting drunk with friends and making a lot of loud noise. I couldn’t help it: it’s human nature. In fact, it’s even more fundamental than that: it’s a innate part of belonging to a hominid species.
Yes, it turns out that even other Apes can have rebellious teens, who trade drugs and loud music for tearing up their territory like a stag do in Amsterdam. Don’t believe me? Well think again. A small zoo in England has allegedly suffered thousands of pounds worth of damage after a gang of teenage gorillas managed to escape from their enclosure and run riot, committing acts of vandalism on a mass scale and causing chaos before being safely apprehended.
Was the incident inspired by the famous gorilla Harambe, and the lads just wanted some payback? Or is this the dawn of the Planet of the Apes? Charton Heston can’t help us now!
The incident in question occurred at Paignton Zoo in Devon, England on Friday June 30. Three teenage apes literally went ape during their temporary flight from confinement, and managed to rip apart water pipes, electrical wiring and air ducts while amok. The apes were never in any danger of causing harm to the public, as they were still behind another two layers of security. Yet before Kiond, Kivu and N’Dowe (aged 15, 15 and 14 respectively) were tranquillised and captured they still managed to raise hell. However, ape experts at the park almost closed the zoo because staff were unable at first to catch the 30 lb animals, instead leaving them to run about overnight until they could be more easily sedated.
“They were at all times behind two layers of security; there was never any possibility of them escaping into public areas,” stated Phil Knowling, a spokesman for the zoo. “No visitors and no staff were at risk and after discussion it was decided to keep the rest of the park open. Power and water were turned off to prevent animals being injured; no staff and no gorillas were hurt.”
Knowling added: “Experts tried to tranquillise the three primates, but were unable to dart them together or at points where they could all be seen to be unconscious, so no staff were able to enter the area. Eventually, animal staff decided to stop for the night to ease any stress on the animals and allow them to rest.”
“The animals were monitored overnight. On Saturday morning, things were resolved when two of the gorillas were darted and one was brought to the far side of their island with food, meaning a door could be closed, separating the gorillas from the corridor and getting things back to normal.”
But this isn’t the first time we’ve been made aware of some monkey business. Last year there was anarchy in London Zoo after another gorilla managed to escape and run riot in London Zoo.