Gorilla Whisperer – Day Out at Como Zoo

Gorilla Whisperer – Como Zoo Minnesota

Gorilla Whisperer – Day Out at Como Zoo

I have been an animal lover since I can remember! In fact, I can remember spending so many weekends and summers at my grandmothers farm. Playing in the pastures with the goats and the cattle and every other animal I could get close too. You could usually catch me feeding and petting the horses , even squirrels! My uncle at one time called me an animal whisperer. He noted how I seemed to have connections with these animals that they always followed me around everywhere! On this day at Como Zoo, I am being called the Gorilla Whisperer!

Just a regular Dr. Doolittle, well not really! I could most probably go on about loads of stories. However this story is about my visit to the Minnesota Como Zoo and my favorite Gorilla! Now before I talk about my visit at Como Zoo, I’d like to say, I do not agree with the confinement of these animals. I always leave the zoo feeling a bit of sadness for them. Como Zoo is a free zoo and they have done a lot of improvements over the years to make these animals living area’s less cruel from resident’s donations. It’s unfortunate that these animals can no longer be put back out in their natural habitat and thus, I think monies would be better spent making the living situations more comfortable for zoo animals and bans should be placed on building any new zoo’s!

Como Zoo

Como Zoo in Minnesota has been a place I grew up going to and took my children and on this last visit took my grandson. I am happy to see so much has changed over the years and yet there are still some areas where they need to have improvements. My favorite stop has always been in the primates building to Visit my favorite gorilla.

Now, this gorilla is not anybody’s friend. In fact, he has been called the angry gorilla and has been known to throw himself at the glass and scare visitors as well as he likes to turn his back side up against the glass to all the gawkers! You’d be angry too if you were on display, I always think. But this beast as he has been called is not a violent nasty gorilla, he is just very unhappy with being kept in captivity and very selective about who he likes! To My surprise I make the cut!

My Gorilla

Gorillas can live 40 to 50 years in captivity and over the past 25 years I have visited this gorilla several times and each time has a story! He knows me, He really knows me I thought on my last visit. I wish I knew his name so I will call him my gorilla. My gorilla was sat far off in the distance and when I arrived with my family and I crouched down to get a glimpse of him. He immediately came to the glass and faced me. We sat there with our eyes locked for a few minutes and I placed my hand on the glass as I usually do and he placed his. My mom commented, look at him, how he sits for you. My reply is that he knows me and he has done this for 25 years since I have been coming to the zoo!

But, as soon as I stood up and started to walk away a group of visitors mostly children came to the window in which the gorilla angry again, turned his back and smooshed his backside up against the window before running off! I feel terribly sad for him but at the same time I feel so privileged that this gorilla seems always happy to see me!

Gorilla Whisperer – Day Como Zoo
Gorilla Whisperer – Day Como Zoo
Gorilla Whisperer – Day Como ZooGorilla Whisperer – Day Como Zoo

More from the Primates

While at the zoo, we also saw some fantastically beautiful animals. Another favorite was watching the tigers play with a pumpkin.
While at the zoo, we also saw some fantastically beautiful animals. Another favorite was watching the tigers play with a pumpkin.
While at the zoo, we also saw some fantastically beautiful animals. Another favorite was watching the tigers play with a pumpkin.While at the zoo, we also saw some fantastically beautiful animals. Another favorite was watching the tigers play with a pumpkin.

While at the zoo, we also saw some fantastically beautiful animals.

We had a lot of enjoyment watching the tigers play with a pumpkin. One tiger batting the pumpkin aground like a soccer ball while the other sat behind a rock waiting to pounce and take the pumpkin away!

While at the zoo, we also saw some fantastically beautiful animals. Another favorite was watching the tigers play with a pumpkin.
While at the zoo, we also saw some fantastically beautiful animals. Another favorite was watching the tigers play with a pumpkin.
While at the zoo, we also saw some fantastically beautiful animals. Another favorite was watching the tigers play with a pumpkin.
While at the zoo, we also saw some fantastically beautiful animals. Another favorite was watching the tigers play with a pumpkin.

The polar bears where delightful to watch as they played and lazily rolled around on this warm Autumn day!

While at the zoo, we also saw some fantastically beautiful animals. Another favorite was watching the tigers play with a pumpkin.
While at the zoo, we also saw some fantastically beautiful animals. Another favorite was watching the tigers play with a pumpkin.
While at the zoo, we also saw some fantastically beautiful animals. Another favorite was watching the tigers play with a pumpkin.
While at the zoo, we also saw some fantastically beautiful animals. Another favorite was watching the tigers play with a pumpkin.

Additional Como Zoo Beauties!

While at the zoo, we also saw some fantastically beautiful animals. Another favorite was watching the tigers play with a pumpkin.
While at the zoo, we also saw some fantastically beautiful animals. Another favorite was watching the tigers play with a pumpkin.
While at the zoo, we also saw some fantastically beautiful animals. Another favorite was watching the tigers play with a pumpkin.
While at the zoo, we also saw some fantastically beautiful animals. Another favorite was watching the tigers play with a pumpkin.
While at the zoo, we also saw some fantastically beautiful animals. Another favorite was watching the tigers play with a pumpkin.

If your looking for something to do while in Minnesota, I would recommend Como Zoo! There is quite a bit to do here besides see the animals. They also have quite a large Conservatory, which is especially nice to get out of the cold in the winter. They also have little shops, cafes and learning center! The best part is that Como Zoo along with the Conservitory is free. You can donate and will find donation boxes at the entries, which help maintain the Como Zoo and Park!

For nature and animal lovers alike, Check out Mille Lacs Lake to get a view of Rare White Deer!

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Comments

  1. Reply

    Great photos, It must be brilliant to see animals that you would not normally get to see – especially the Gorilla

  2. Reply

    Heart-rending post about the gorilla’s anger but I’m glad he seems happy at least to see you. Hard life when he belongs in a jungle and roaming.

    • Vicki Louise
    • November 13, 2016
    Reply

    Great photos from the zoo, and it’s lovely you share a connection with your gorilla. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had to react that way every to noisy children every day, hopefully has a few more connections with people that visit often.

  3. Reply

    Beautiful personal post. Loved how you talked with so much passion. The debate over whether there should be zoos or not is really heating up these days and I too feel conflicted about it at times. Loved the photos especially of the tiger playing with the ball.

    • anna
    • November 13, 2016
    Reply

    It’s a bit sad how angry he is all the time. Captivity isn’t something I wish on any animal! I have actually stopped going to zoo’s for this reason. Although I do understand that sometimes, these animals are better cared for in conservatories etc. Glad you have a special connection with him though!

  4. Reply

    Such a touching story! The only animal I made friends with at a zoo was a small fox in Bucharest. it was back when Romanian zoos were still very desolate places. She (I decided it was a she) came to the fence and let me pet it. She actually ate cookies! That almost made me cry, even if I wasn’t old enough to truly understand how much more care those animals needed.

    Modern zoos seem a lot more enjoyable to me. I get heir educational purposes, and I feel better about all the rules and regulations about keeping the animals happy and healthy.

    • Katie
    • November 13, 2016
    Reply

    Wow, it sounds like you have made an amazing connection with your gorilla 🙂 I have never seen a Gorilla that up close but really hope to. In the UK zoos the Gorillas have massive cages and often hide away but like you, I do understand why!

  5. Reply

    That was cute. You are friends with a Gorilla. That is not something everybody gets to experience.

  6. Reply

    What a good looking dude the gorilla. However, my wish to see them in the wild…in Africa. Sometimes, I feel sad for these beings in the zoo…not knowing how they feel…sad , happy…do they want to go back?
    However, I believe that the Como zoo is doing a good job of educating visitors to care for all the species that inhabit the earth…
    Cheers to a better tomorrow!

    • Clare
    • November 13, 2016
    Reply

    Great that the zoo is free so everyone can enjoy it. I have been to some zoo’s that are terrible and you come upset over the animals but some are really great and look after the animals that would no longer be able to survive in the wild, the ones with the breeding programs can be good too trying to ensure that the species does not go extinct. I too would be hate to be locked in a cage so people could come look at me 🙂

    • neha
    • November 13, 2016
    Reply

    My little one would be absolutely delighted to visit here 🙂 And yes, I am an animal lover and tend to go well with them. So, I can tell for sure, that Gorilla must be knowing you

  7. It’s always a delight to see animals play in their surrounding.Como Zoo looks like a real cool place to spend a day with the family.

  8. Reply

    Love your story. It’s great that the Gorilla knows you and is happy to see you. Very special. Como sounds lovely and I’m glad to hear that they invest in improving the animals living area’s!

  9. Reply

    I lived in Minneapolis for a while and was not far away from the Como Zoo, but I never went. Watching animals is always a lot of fun though. Gorillas are such fascinating animals and they are a ton of fun to watch. I love that the one at the Como Zoo recognized you 🙂

  10. Reply

    That’s so sweet the gorilla is always happy to see you! Looks and sounds like a great zoo- I’ll be sure to check it out if I go to Minnesota. I love animals too and I really enjoy seeing them. Loved this nice light-hearted read 🙂

  11. Reply

    Primates are some of my favourite animals on the planet. These gorillas look content and happy and I am glad that they are well cared for. The animals look like they have a nice environment to roam around in.

    • Teresa
    • November 14, 2016
    Reply

    Love these photos animals are so much fun!

    • Sonya Kolodziejska
    • November 14, 2016
    Reply

    Your child hood sounds amazing! Complete opposite to mine, nit an animal to be seen. We recently just got our first pet, i want my kids to be comfortable around animals. We do love going to the zoo though, always makes a great day out.

  12. Reply

    Nice photos! I love animals too and I think they don’t belong in zoos. That’s why I don’t visit them there.

  13. Reply

    Awesome shots! I really like all the pictures. Gorilla is such a fascinating animal. Reminds me of Kerchak in Tarzan. Sounds like it was lots of fun at the zoo.

    • Heidi
    • November 14, 2016
    Reply

    I love animals – and reading the title of your post I just had to jump in. First I thought Como -Zoo was in Como/Italy, about 500km from where I live – and I didn’t think they had a zoo there. Where ever I go I visit the Zoo, so maybe next time in USA I might go there. I really love your pictures and the nice story around them. Thank you!
    Heidi

  14. Reply

    Really enjoyed your post – very informative yet personal. Great photos too…I totally agree that animals should not be held captive, but many of them know nothing better and would not be able to survive in the wild anyway. Seems like many zoos nowadays are investing in improving the living conditions for the animals which is a good thing.

  15. Reply

    Some great photo’s , really like the tiger’s

    • Julie
    • November 16, 2016
    Reply

    My son also has a special correction with the gorillas at our zoo. It’s so fun to watch. Your pictures are beautiful.

  16. Reply

    Loved the photography! It must have been thrilling to encounter such exotic animals

  17. Reply

    Great story and pictures. Sounds like a great Zoo that cares about the animals. I would definitely donate!

  18. Reply

    That is so touching… I too can feel how lonely the gorilla must be feeling.
    It is ages since I have been to a zoo. I have this sudden urge to go now.

    • Sonya Kolodziejska
    • November 16, 2016
    Reply

    The zoo makes such a great day out. I didn’t do it this year with the kids, i must do better next year!

  19. Reply

    I love como zoo! It’s so pretty. And you are right the animals do get cranky at times. They aren’t home anymore and some days they dont want to be pointed and starred at. The zoo is such a cool way for kids to learn but I think they need to be taught to be gentle with the animal they are looking at. Yelling and hitting the glass isn’t ok.

  20. Reply

    I LOVE taking my kids to the zoo…. ours is not as good as the como zoo at all!! jealous!

  21. Reply

    I love animals as well! Thanks for sharing your experience and instilling some knowledge about gorillas! This reminded me of Harambe so much.

  22. Reply

    Even though I grew up visiting zoos and I love to learn about animals, I’m now against zoos. Just look at this gorgeous gorilla and the rest of the wonderful animals. Being locked up is no good for their mental stability! Ree love30

  23. Reply

    Gorillas are my favorite at the zoo. I did several years of research with gorillas as a graduate student.

  24. Reply

    How cool! I love all the photos. I enjoy zoos but yes, sometimes I feel for the animals.

    • Rain
    • November 17, 2016
    Reply

    poor animals. i feel bad that they’re there for our amusement. he probably does recognize you.

    • Ellie
    • November 17, 2016
    Reply

    Awww that tiger! I always loved big cats. Great photos!

    • SamH travels
    • November 17, 2016
    Reply

    Lovely photos from the zoo and the connection u have with the Gorilla is amazing

  25. Reply

    I enjoyed looking at photos from the zoo. It was also nice to read about your connection with the gorilla.

  26. Reply

    Se manifique views! Love your photo journal & descriptions. I had no idea Gorillas could live for so long! wow!

    • Elizabeth O.
    • November 17, 2016
    Reply

    That has to be one of the most peaceful zoos that I’ve seen. I love all your pictures! I’d like to take my daughters there someday!

  27. Reply

    I have yet to visit Minnesota but I hope to someday. Sounds like a great place to be. Great pics by the way!

    • lex
    • November 17, 2016
    Reply

    Well detailed post on the zoo and animals. Your photos are superb.

  28. Reply

    Amazing photos:) I love that gorilla he looks so funny and the rest of animals are beautiful as well

  29. Reply

    You definitely got some great shots!! Looks like a great zoo!!

  30. Reply

    I love going to the zoo on a date with my hubby at least once in three months as I believe that we should spend some good time in the lap of mother nature and interact with wonderful animals created by her!

  31. Reply

    aww that’s so cute! I want to be friends with animals (besides my dog) lol

    • Elizabeth O.
    • November 18, 2016
    Reply

    Wow! That’s amazing! It’s nice that he has you to look forward to in this life. It’s not easy to live in a cage and it’s good that you see him from time to time. The pictures of the zoo are great, you take awesome pics!

  32. Reply

    This looks like a wonderful zoo to visit! I enjoy going to zoos where animals are well cared for and their habitats are clean. These animals sure look happy.

    • Sonja
    • November 19, 2016
    Reply

    I love visiting zoos and seeing the animals! My favourite are Orangutans, but Gorillas might have to be a close second!

    • Our Family World
    • November 21, 2016
    Reply

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful place. Kids would love to go there.

    • Rhewi Montemayor
    • November 22, 2016
    Reply

    Great photo’s and nice sharing.. You inspire us on how to be friendly and love animals..

    • Rhewi Montemayor
    • November 22, 2016
    Reply

    Great photos and nice story.. You can inspire many to love and be friendly to the animals.. My kids would be happy to go to the zoo..

  33. Reply

    Am very happy to know that you a fun of primates and we have several primate species in East Africa.Have tracked mountain gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda more than twice but still feel like doing it again. Its an exciting experience every time you go check on them.I will be more glad to host you around in Africa one day.Am a tour manager at walmark Africa safaris and travel is my hobby.

    • Toni
    • December 17, 2016
    Reply

    He is adorable. It’s great to see many zoos making an investment into creating more open and natural enclosures for the animals. The reality is that very few animals in a zoo could be returned to the wild once they’ve been in captivity although it’s still so sad to see angry and scared animals acting out.
    Toni recently posted…20 Top Cities to Visit in 2017My Profile

  34. Reply

    Zoos are a favorite of mine to visit and I have yet to explore this one in Minnesota. My personal favorite is the Omaha Zoo which has a fantastic Gorilla enclosure as well. You should check it out if you have the chance! 🙂

      • durhamslovelifetravel
      • December 17, 2016
      Reply

      I would love to!

  35. Reply

    This is so much interesting! It’s always a great idea to spend a day in a zoo. cheers! xx

  36. Reply

    “…It’s unfortunate that these animals can no longer be put back out in their natural habitat and thus, I think monies would be better spent making the living situations more comfortable for zoo animals and bans should be placed on building any new zoo’s!” well said!
    I have enjoyed reading your article. It is beautiful to have connection with animals!
    Hugs from Croatia

    • Indrani
    • December 18, 2016
    Reply

    I feel so sad for these animals in zoos. How lonely they must be. It is a great thing that you can make the gorilla feel cheerful with your regular visits.

  37. Reply

    Wow, what a beautiful blog post, and Wow, what a remarkable connection you have with your gorilla, I’m blown away as I have never seen a Gorilla that close before, I think I might be a little scared about being that close. Love that I can feel from your words the story.

    • Leah
    • December 19, 2016
    Reply

    I, too, love animals, but find it heartbreaking to visit zoos anymore. Unless it’s a sanctuary protecting the animals, I just can’t bring myself to go, especially after being in the Serengeti.
    Leah recently posted…Holiday Gourmet Gift Guide from Galeries LafayetteMy Profile

    • Mags
    • December 20, 2016
    Reply

    I love Gorillas. They are such amazing animals. I hope to one day get to see them in the wild
    Mags recently posted…3 Ways to Save on Safari in South AfricaMy Profile

    • Chrysoula
    • December 20, 2016
    Reply

    Wow, it does seem you have a connection with that gorilla. It really saddens me they are kept in captivity but I hope they are taken good care there. It is amazing you have been visiting the same place for so many years.

    • Pedro
    • December 21, 2016
    Reply

    Gorilla whisperer? That’s quite something! Oh, some of those smaller primates are really cute, I must say.
    Pedro recently posted…Best Christmas Markets in EuropeMy Profile

  38. Reply

    What gorgeous photos the animals look healthy which is good. It must have been amazing to see them all so close up. I love going to zoos although rarely get a chance to.
    MELANIE EDJOURIAN recently posted…Blogging Goals for 2017My Profile

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