Not long ago, a friend, his two adult kids, and I visited the St. Louis Zoo.

If you’ve never been, the STL Zoo is (in my opinion) very impressive for a smaller-sized city. Many cool exhibits.

We walked around for a while, then came upon the gorilla pit. It’s mostly fenced in, but there’s a small enclosed area on the path, with a plexiglass window.

There was a big gorilla sitting in a rubber tub about five feet from the window. Of course, several people (mostly kids) were gathered around to take a look.

The gorilla was just sitting there, mellow. He’d slowly look off to his left at the sky, then slowly look to his right and glare at the people behind the window. He repeated this several times.

It was interesting to see a gorilla up close, but let’s face it, after about a minute of watching the equivalent of a Chuck E. Cheese robot, it’s time to move on.

We walked out of the enclosed area a little further down the path, around the pit, and could still see the gorilla; he was up on a hill with his back to us.

Then he got up, looked at the people, picked up the tub, and viciously slammed it against the plexiglass.


Everyone behind the window jumped back in horror, and dozens of kids ran out of the enclosed area. Most were screaming; some were crying. One girl ran up to us and said, “I’ve seen Planet of the Apes. They know how to use machine guns!”

I learned two things that day:

First: Everything has its limits. All God’s creatures. That gorilla was clearly having a bad day and snapped.

Second: In five years or so, there are going to be a lot of STL teenagers in therapy (“I keep seeing the monkey smash the glass!”).