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Jojo

Do you see that handsome fellow?! Doesn’t it look like he’s smiling at me? This is Jojo, a silverback Gorilla at the Brookfield Zoo. Todd and I participated in a Wild Encounter called Great Ape Escape through the Zoo. It was really neat because Todd and I were the only people in the group. Within the first 5 minutes of arriving, I was standing less than a foot away from Jojo and three females! I fed Jojo and Kamba each cups of orange juice…as in, I held the cups up to their mouths and tipped the cup for them to drink (through their pens).

I was in Heaven!

We didn’t get to touch any of the gorillas (darn!), and we weren’t allowed to take pictures while participating (double darn!!). These photos are from afterwards, before the Zoo filled up with people, and we had Jojo’s, Koola’s, Kamba’s, and Binti’s undivided attention. They’re all shot on my iPhone 4S.

Todd & I with Jojo in the Background

Todd & I with Jojo in the Background

It was an amazing experience to be able to get as up close and personal as we were able to! After feeding them their orange juice, we threw vegetables all over their enclosure so that they could forage for it throughout the day.

The Ladies: Binti, Koola, and Kamba

The Ladies: Binti, Koola, and Kamba

See that picture above? Todd and I were IN there, before the Gorillas. It’s H U G E!

Koola, the highest ranking female

Koola, the highest ranking female

Koola was playing with that stick in her hand, breaking it into smaller pieces, and eating off the bark. She was using her hands, feet, and even her head to break it.

I’d love to be able to do something like this with Chimpanzees. Brookfield Zoo doesn’t have them, but Lincoln Park Zoo does. There’s a good possibility that I’d pass out from excitement if I ever got to be as close to chimps as I was to the gorillas :)

As you’ve probably figured out, I’m crazy for Great Apes.

What animal is your favorite?
What animal would you want to interact with,
given the chance?