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Zola the Gorilla Does ‘Splash Dancing’ at the Dallas Zoo [VIDEO]

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Zola the Gorilla Does ‘Splash Dancing’ at the Dallas Zoo [VIDEO]

Zola the Gorilla Does ‘Splash Dancing’ at the Dallas Zoo [VIDEO]

Zola, a gorilla who resides at the Dallas Zoo, did a memorable performance of ‘Splash Dancing’ on video. He is a 14 year-old 380-pound Silverback gorilla and still very young at heart. You won’t believe this video… I dare you not to smile. Some people originally thought it was a man dressed as a gorilla, but I assure you, this is the real deal. Zola loves water. He adores rain puddles, moats and kiddie pools as you will see in this video.

Gorillas can’t swim, but you’d never know it by watching Zola. The video was posted to the zoo website last Tuesday and in it, you see an exuberant Zola spinning, splashing, thrashing and exhibiting just the sheer joy of living and getting wet in a pool. Nothing like a 380-pound toddler to make your day. So far, the video has racked up over 1.6 million views and it’s easy to see why. I could watch it over and over and over again.

Headlines are calling Zola the “break dancing gorilla.” But he reminds me much more of ‘Flashdance’. Not quite as sexy, but certainly talented. Heh. “We’ve always known he likes water, but we weren’t expecting the full washing machine-style spin that we caught on camera,” said the Dallas Zoo’s mammal curator, Keith Zdrojewski. Even they were astounded by Zola’s dance moves. “He also loves to splash and do this type of behavior in the rain.” I have never seen a gorilla behave like this and it just makes me grin from ear to ear.

The pool is considered an enrichment item for primates. It engages them and gets them to move and interact. Personally, I think it’s just fun. They also give the primates toys to play with etc. Some pointed out this could be a reaction to stress. I doubt that. Zola is just having the time of his life. Gorillas love water and they lover mirrors. They have a silly side that you just wouldn’t expect. People see gorillas as violent and they can be, but they also have a sense of humor and can feel joy just like any other being.

Gorillas living in zoos need complex social lives with lots of interaction to remain healthy. They are very similar to humans in some respects. If Zola were stressed, he would be withdrawn, quiet and uninterested in interacting with his environment. I would imagine that gorillas wait for the warm months expectantly just like humans, so they can once again enjoy water fun. Some gorillas have been known to play on Slip ‘N Slides. They also chuckle when playing in water.

This isn’t the first time Zola has been caught dancing his furry heart out. Back in 2011, at Canada’s Calgary Zoo, a significantly smaller Zola was filmed thoroughly enjoying a wet concrete floor, as well as spinning. That went viral as well. Zola loves his water sports, that’s for sure.


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