Sunday, September 26, 2010

"Ford African Rain Forest"--Zoo Atlanta in 1961, 1981, and 1999

Willie B., above with Keeper Johnny Dilbeck in 1961, was acquired in 1959 by the then Atlanta Zoo and was named after Atlanta’s Mayor William B. Hartsfield. Willie B. was a popular attraction at the zoo and a personal favorite of Mayor Hartsfield, who even nominated Willie B. to run for congress in 1960. Hartsfield nominated the gorilla as a write-in candidate against the conservative Democrat, and Willie B. received 272 and 391 votes in Dekalb and Fulton counties.

Willie B. above in 1981, at Atlantánamo Bay where he had been incarcerated for life given his radical political view's and insurgency(it was a rubber car tire, not that that matter's, but I am just saying). He was given a reprieve and at the age of 30 was released into the Ford African Rain Forest in 1999 to spend his remaining days.

Above is Willie B. in 1999 meeting with Taz. The meeting it has now been learned, was secretly videotaped but no one could understand the language spoken by the two. After consulting a book written by KoKo, and co-authored by Michael and Ndume it has now been learned what took place that day during an apparently "innocent" banana picnic. I trust Zoo Atlanta won't get caught with their pant's down a second time. Below is the complete transcript, with special thanks to KoKo, Michael, and Ndume:

Wille B.--Listen, Pal.... I am the the king of containment....

Taz--I know Willie B., your a legend on the block.....

Willie B.--I've studied this layout for 30 years and there ain't a lockup been built can hold Willie B....

Taz--But this isn't the old day's where you had pig iron and bricks to contend with Willie B....This is what they call state of the art......

Wille B.--I'm telling you this candy ass glass can be had.....You don't even have to waste your time smuggling in a file, a rock hammer, or a Selma Hayek poster......

Taz--Ok Willie B. I'm your huckleberry.....Tell me what to do if you really think you know how....

Willie B. Why you snot nosed jungle deficient punk!!!..... Of course I know what to do, you Cheeta wanna be... I'm plexy glass's daddy, I rule plexy glass, Chump.....Now listen, first you wait for the right moment when the guards are distracted....A vist by the sawbone's always works so be ready to go need to get real upset and agitated and then you run fast, and you whack that G*d D**m glass as hard Mohammed Ali whacked George Forman in the rumble in the Jungle...... Then........skkkk......skkkkk......skkkk.....

Transmission was lost at that moment, but I think we learned a lesson here:

The Atlanta-Journal Constitution
June 14, 2010

An upset gorilla rammed a glass barrier at Zoo Atlanta on Sunday, cracking it and prompting an evacuation of the viewing area.

The 20-year-old male silver back, named Taz, may have become agitated when he saw veterinarians enter the area, zoo officials said. The previous day, he'd undergone a routine medical exam, they said. Like any kid who associates a visit to the doctor with a syringe, he may have gotten spooked.

“Gorillas often associate their veterinarians as the ones giving vaccinations and can react nervously – much like many people do with a visit to the doctor or dentist,” Dr. Hayley Murphy, director of veterinary services, said in a written statement issued Monday.

The incident occurred at the Willie B. Conservation Center. The exhibit includes a moat barrier with electric wire between the yard and the public. The center also has several glass viewing panels.

Zoo patron Elaine Hudson said the gorilla was calmly eating orange slices one moment, then charging at the glass with his fists the next. The impact caused several cracks, Hudson said.

Zoo officials appeared quickly and ushered the 30 to 40 visitors out of the center, Hudson said. She and the others walked out calmly.

"I think, if the glass had shattered," she added, "then I would have been much more afraid."

After the incident, zoo officials moved the gorillas into their overnight holding area, and officials say that neither guests nor staff was in any danger.

Officials did not say when they would complete repairs and reopen the gorilla center.

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