Also, another man came to give a talk about a panther that he'd seen walking along some train tracks behind his flat, but he'd forgotten to bring the photos he'd taken of it. From the way he described it though, it was definitely a panther.
Significantly, I'd brought two of my many daughters along with me, and they were due to be spending the weekend helping the keepers.
On our tour of the zoo, we were introduced to a "teenage" gibbon called Udo, who apparently was in the grip of puberty. Female keepers weren't allowed to enter his enclosure alone, as - were they to do so - the dirty gibbon would attempt to do rudies with them. Amusingly, every time my daughters passed by his cage, Udo would hang from the ceiling, pucker his lips, and press his genitals up against the bars. Whenever I walked by, he would turn his back on me.
We spent some considerable time exploiting the hilarious behaviour of this hairy little pervert - while I pretended not to feel rejected - and then around five minutes feeling a bit bad about having done so.
Importantly, it wouldn't have been as funny if primates didn't look - and behave - so much like people. What I always find interesting about them - and apes in particular - is what they can teach us about ourselves. Unfortunately, most of it isn't pretty, but it saddens me that gorillas are considered critically endangered, and possibly won't be around forever.
The more we learn about them, the more we discover how similar they are to us. Maybe we should bring them out of the jungles and invite them to live in our towns and cities and put them on benefits. Admittedly, I offer this suggestion not because I want to save the great apes, but because I don't want to waste any opportunity to laugh at them.
It makes me wonder how many of these so-called "conservationists" are secretly operating with a similar motivation.