Why The Toronto Zoo Wants You To Stop Showing Its Gorillas Videos From Your Phones

The Toronto Zoo is advising its visitors to avoid showing videos and photos on their cellphones to its gorillas because they distract the apes. Explaining the reason for the request, Behavioral Husbandry Supervisor Hollie Ross said, “We just want gorillas to be able to be gorillas, and when our guests come to the zoo, we want them to be able to see gorillas in a very natural state.” She went on to reveal that some content can be upsetting to the gorillas and can even affect their relationships and behavior within their families. One example is a gorilla named Nassir, who has become enthralled with visitor videos. Described as "the epitome of a teenager," screen time was beginning to dominate his life in a way that’s not natural for animals. Zoo officials decided it was time for Nassir to hang out with his brother and just be a gorilla, so signs went up asking visitors to keep their videos and photos to themselves. Toronto isn’t the only zoo to curtail the sharing of videos with animals. A zoo in Chicago recently had to install a rope in front of its gorilla enclosure to keep visitors for showing their phones to one of the apes that had become so distracted by the gadgets that he was displaying problematic behavioral changes.