Gorillas are incredibly smart, curious and have two working eyes and so it only makes sense that they would enjoy looking at pictures of other gorillas. In other words, Jelani is not the first gorilla to enjoy smartphone pictures as much as humans, but he is one of the first documented and shared.
Meet Jelani, the picture-loving Western Lowland gorilla living at the Louisville Zoo. Every day Jelani sees all different people taking pictures and looking at photos on their phones. As a result, Jelani has grown quite fond of photos, especially if they are of other gorillas.
Jelani the gorilla is a “critically endangered” species that has called the Louisville sanctuary home since 2002. Gorillas are highly social creatures and so the design of the 4-acre indoor and outdoor sanctuary is set up to promote social interactions amongst gorillas and visiting humans.
Video editor Paul Ross stumbled upon the photo-adoring gorilla in action while visiting the zoo with his one-year-old daughter. Ross saw Jelani sitting with a young man and watching his screen as he scrolled through photos of other gorillas. Jelani was enjoying himself so much he even started motioning for him to continue scrolling.
In an interview with Daily Mail Ross said, “I stumbled upon the boy sharing pictures with Jelani touring the zoo with my one-year-old daughter. The boy was scrolling through gorilla pictures, and Jelani would motion with his hand to move to the next photo.”
Ross couldn’t believe his eyes so he busted out his video camera and started recording.
This isn’t the first time Jelani has gone ape over photos. According to his bio on the zoo’s website: “He is a laid-back individual and likes to look at cellphone photos and videos.”
The young man and his gorilla photos held the gorilla’s attention for a long time. The video below only highlights a small portion of that time.