The Swiss psychologist and child development expert Jean Piaget once said, “Play is the work of children.” And children certainly work hard! Playing, laughing, and just plain having fun seems to be their default state. Entertaining themselves and others is what it’s all about, whether those others are other people or another species. Puppies and kittens are favorites, but why not a baby gorilla?
For one little boy, a trip to the zoo became more fun than, well, a barrel of monkeys. In the utterly adorable video we’ve posted below, you’ll see this toddler start in with an energetic game of peekaboo with a baby gorilla. Or maybe it was the little gorilla who started it. Regardless, they both were having a great time running back and forth trying to hide from each other. The gorilla seemed to be “winning” much of the time, successfully fooling the little human, faking him out with quick changes of direction and even attempts to hide behind tree-themed decor attached to the glass. As the toddler let out shrieks of delight, a nearby adult simply said, “I can’t believe he’s doing this.” We can’t say we’re so surprised!
An older gorilla, perhaps the little one’s mother, was sitting nearby watching these goings-on, apparently quite content that everyone was having so much fun. Perhaps this shouldn’t come as a surprise, either. Gorillas are both intelligent and highly social apes, having bonds of family and friendship that aren’t so different from the ones we people have. Unfortunately, gorillas in the wild are critically endangered and people are the only real threat. Poaching and viruses that can make the leap from human to ape are the primary culprits.
Did you get a big kick out of this simian game of peekaboo? Let us know in the Facebook comments. Don’t forget to like and share!