The Toronto Zoo is taking measures to protect its gorillas from potential negative influences of online movies and videos. The zoo has recently erected signs around the gorilla refuge, urging visitors not to share recordings or images of the gorillas. According to the zoo, certain recordings can be “upsetting” to the animals and may have an impact on their relationships and behavior within their family units.
Hollie Ross, the zoo’s behavioral husbandry supervisor, emphasized the importance of allowing the gorillas to behave naturally. The goal is to enable visitors to witness the gorillas in their authentic state and connect with them on a deeper level. Ross stated, “We just want the gorillas to be able to be gorillas.”
One gorilla in particular, named Nassir, has shown a keen interest in videos and screen time. Described as “the epitome of a teenager” on the Toronto Zoo’s website, Nassir’s fascination with videos would dominate his life if given the chance. While he enjoys watching videos of other animals, the zoo staff wants to ensure that the content does not have any negative impact on his behavior. The zoo believes that allowing the gorillas to watch nature films can be an enriching experience for them, as long as the content is carefully managed.
The Toronto Zoo is advising its visitors to avoid showing videos and photos on their cellphones to its gorillas as they distract the apes. https://t.co/at97kB60o8
— CTV Toronto (@CTVToronto) July 8, 2023
Ross compared the process of managing the gorillas’ content to parental controls for children. It is essential to know what they are watching and have control over their exposure to ensure a positive and suitable viewing experience. By monitoring the content, the zoo staff can safeguard the gorillas’ well-being and ensure that their behaviors and interactions remain unaffected.
As an institution dedicated to the preservation and welfare of animals, the Toronto Zoo recognizes the importance of providing an environment that supports the natural behaviors of its residents. Gorillas, being highly intelligent and social animals, thrive when given opportunities to engage in natural activities and interactions. By discouraging visitors from sharing recordings or images and being mindful of the content that the gorillas are exposed to, the zoo is taking proactive steps to maintain the well-being and natural behavior of its gorilla population.
In conclusion, the Toronto Zoo is urging visitors to refrain from exposing the gorillas to online movies and videos that could potentially influence their behavior. By raising awareness and implementing measures to control the content the gorillas are exposed to, the zoo aims to provide an environment where these animals can thrive and be themselves. Through these efforts, visitors can connect with the gorillas on a deeper level, witnessing them in their natural state and appreciating their true beauty and uniqueness.
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