By Mark McConville
AMUSING images and video footage have captured the moment a group of gorillas noticed a GoPro filming them.
The footage begins with a gorilla walking past the camera, which is encased in plastic, before clocking on that there was an unusual object for it to explore.
Another gorilla wants to find out exactly what this mystery item is and knocks repeatedly on the plastic in an attempt to reach it.
The funny clip continues with various gorillas coming in for a closer look before trying to remove the plastic casing to access the camera.
The video was filmed in Royal Burgers’ Zoo in Arnhem after zookeepers hid a GoPro camera in the outdoor gorilla enclosure.
“Soon the intelligent apes discover the strange contraption and decide to take a closer look,” said the zoo.
“The brilliant video footage is priceless: once again, the intelligence and curiosity of these magnificent apes has been proved.”
Gorillas are ground-dwelling, predominantly herbivorous apes that inhabit the forests of central Sub-Saharan Africa. The genus Gorilla is divided into two species: the eastern gorillas and the western gorillas (both critically endangered), and either four or five subspecies. They are the largest living primates.
The DNA of gorillas is highly similar to that of humans, from 95–99% depending on what is included, and they are the next closest living relatives to humans after the chimpanzees and bonobos.
Gorillas are considered highly intelligent. A few individuals in captivity, such as Koko, have been taught a subset of sign language. Like the other great apes, gorillas can laugh, grieve, have “rich emotional lives”, develop strong family bonds, make and use tools, and think about the past and future.
Some researchers believe gorillas have spiritual feelings or religious sentiments. They have been shown to have cultures in different areas revolving around different methods of food preparation, and will show individual colour preferences.