It looks like the toxic traits of humans are being passed on to primates because a gorilla at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago is addicted to smartphones.
All four of the gorillas at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo love a bit of screen time, but according to zookeepers, one of the gorillas, Amare, spends a concerning amount of time looking at a screen.
If you’re like us and had the image of a gorilla playing Candy Crush in your head, we’re sorry to disappoint you. Amare is actually addicted to videos held up by zoo patrons.
The zoo’s visitors would regularly hold up pictures and videos to the gorilla enclosure, which would mesmerise the primates inside.
But recently, Amare was consumed by a five-hour reaction video to every episode of iCarly (there’s no information about the real video, but thats our guess) when another gorilla attacked him while distracted.
Amare was fine, and his enclosure-mate was only playing around, but zookeepers have also noticed he has been withdrawing from the other gorillas since the addiction and spending a lot of his time in the corner.
So to try and combat both these issues, the zoo have taken action. Patrons are no longer allowed to stand right up to the glass of the enclosure, but are still able to view the gorillas from behind a roped off section laid out by the zoo.
Since the rope has been installed, Amare has quickly shown positive reactions to the change, and is spending far less time in the corner of the enclosure than he used to.
Comparisons have been drawn to the effects of smartphones on humans, which can often lead to self-isolation and social withdrawal.
So maybe this is a telling tale to limit our own screen time, or maybe the lesson to take home from this is that your housemates are more vulnerable to a spontaneous wrestling match if they’re looking at their phone. We’ll let you decide.