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Sir David Attenborough Reminds Zoo Visitors To Be More Respectful

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Sir David Attenborough Reminds Zoo Visitors To Be More Respectful

Following the escape of the silverback gorilla at ZSL London Zoo last week, Sir David Attenborough has offered some words of wisdom.

He's urged zoo visitors to "bear in mind the sensitivity" of animals.

Sir David, 90, felt "deep, deep sympathy and sorrow" for the Kumbuka who got out of his enclosure last week.

In his finest, most comforting and reassuring voice, he told ITV: "They are wonderful animals, gorillas. They are animals which guard their privacy. In the forests of west Africa, they don't live out in the open. They aren't stared at by people. They value their privacy.

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"Sometimes visitors to zoos are not respectful and they start shrieking or waving their arms in order to get the poor gorilla to do something.

"You might think, oh they're just animals. They are not just animals. They are related to us. They value their privacy. Just imagine what it's like to be there."

Sir David, who has spent the majority of his life working out the wonders of life on Earth, believed it was only a matter of time before an escape like this would happen. "The alpha male, the big gorilla, got fed up with it, is hardly surprising," he said.

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Everyone's favourite wildlife documentary presenter offered a logical solution to prevent such an event happening again. "Maybe people should not be allowed to be behind big sheets of glass but look behind peepholes so that the gorillas don't realise (they are being watched)," he said. "But that's very difficult to do in a zoo where there are tens of thousands of people wanting to see these animals.

"It is important for people to be able to see what these wonderful creatures are like and to understand the responsibility that the human race has towards gorillas."

Sir David will return back onto our screens with Planet Earth 2, ten years after the first series aired. Kumbuka isn't expected to make an appearance as he's grounded for staying out too late.

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Featured image credit: PA

Topics: david attenborough, Wildlife

Hamish Kilburn
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