Zoo Gorilla Cracks Glass Enclosure: Ape Charges After Girl Mimics Chest-Beating

Thursday, visitors of a Nebraska zoo watched a great ape go bananas. Patrons watched in horror as a silverback gorilla cracked the glass at an enclosure after charging towards a little girl at the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium exhibit. There were no injuries in the display of strength, but the cracks left in the glass called into question the quality of the installation. The video of the "gorilla attack," has gone viral, according to an Omaha news report.

A day after a 370 pound ape went bonkers -- or appeared to be -- and left large cracks in protective glass, as a family looked on, all that remains are sheets of plywood concealing the damage. However, millions saw what really took place at the gorilla exhibit days ago before the partial repairs.

In the 13-second video, Kigito, a 20-year-old gorilla is seen roaming around the makeshift habitat when his attention is suddenly turned to the spectators. Kevin Cave, his wife, two daughters and other family members were in attendance.

Cave spoke with a zookeeper earlier, who told him one of the gorillas behind the glass had gotten into a brawl with other silverbacks in a show of territorial dominance. At the time the man was filming, he had an eerie feeling.

"He was just staring at me. 'He's going to do something crazy.'"
Indeed, he did. The dominant ape starts out on all fours, and appears to be focused on something else, but he breaks out into a sprint on two legs and charges at the onlookers. His forward surge ends at the glass, where he pounds it and kicks it with his knee. In the aftermath, it was clear: the gorilla cracked the glass before sending visitors scurrying.

Apparently, Cave's seven-year-old daughter was playfully challenging the apes to a fight by mimicking their behavior of chest-beating. However, Dan Cassidy, a spokesperson from the zoo, said that the patrons were never in any danger, despite the glass cracks left behind by the gorilla's attack. He said it's typical to see the apes pounding on the glass, and it doesn't necessarily mean they intended to do bodily harm.

"Sometimes they like to make a lot of noise and show how tough they are. There have been cases where they hit it just right and it does break. But, again, we've never had an escape here. There is no reason to think that it is not safe. I wouldn't be standing here if it wasn't."
Cave and his family retreated to another area of the zoo during the animal's charge. He said his little girl cried, but only because she saw her family running, clearly disturbed by the ape's behavior. Cassidy said the cracks left by the glass were likely due to a faulty installation. A replacement has been ordered.

Previously, when the Inquisitr reported on zoo gorilla's glass-cracking antics, views on YouTube were just over 500,000. However, as of this writing, the footage has garnered over 8 million viral views.

[Photo by: Oli Scarff/Getty Images]