Even Gorillas Are Glued To Smartphones These Days

Just wait until they start playing Angry Birds.

If you're having trouble tearing your kid away from his iPhone, just be thankful he's not a 400-pound ape.

Footage taken at Kentucky’s Louisville Zoo shows Jelani, a young male silverback gorilla, seemingly enthralled by a zoo visitor’s smartphone, nodding as the boy shows him each new image. Apparently, Jelani is known for his interest in technology -- his biography on the zoo’s website says “he is a laid-back individual and likes to look at cellphone photos and videos."

Since video editor Paul Ross uploaded the footage to YouTube earlier this month, the Internet has become as glued to the video as Jelani is to his visitor’s photographs.

But some viewers see the video as bittersweet, since Jelani is, after all, in captivity and not out in the wild. Ross addressed this point in an updated description of his YouTube video:

Please note that this gorilla (I believe he is named Jelani) is housed in an award winning 4 acre gorilla sanctuary in the Louisville Zoo. He is a Western Lowland Gorilla, a species classified as "critically endangered" by the I.U.C.N.


The Louisville Zoo works hard to provide Jelani and his group with great nutrition, a stimulating and wide open environment, medicine and a chance and hopefully through awareness and captive breeding they'll help move this beautiful species off that endangered list.

Ross recommends that anyone who feels moved by the video should learn more about the zoo's gorilla sanctuary and find out what they can do to help the great apes.

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