At Louisville Zoo in the United States, visual communication works between species. A young man and a silverback gorilla spent quality time together looking at pictures on a mobile phone. It was captured in a video, uploaded by user Paul Ross, which now has over half a million views.
In it you can see how the man and the gorilla seem to create a connection as they sweep through the phone, checking out pictures. The source of the primate's interest: the young person shows it photos of other gorillas. Jelani is the name of the silverback, and is advertised as having a knack for technology.
"A laid-back individual and likes to look at cellphone photos and videos," as Louisville Zoo describes Jelani.
Gorillas are herbivorous apes that inhabit the forests of central Africa and are the heftiest primates by size. Depending on what is counted, 95-99 percent of the DNA of gorillas resembles to that of humans. After chimpanzees and bonobos, gorillas are the humans' closest living relatives.
"It sat down next to the kid and motioned for him to change pictures," Ross says in the YouTube comments. The browsing and studying of other primates took Jelani almost 30 minutes, and the boy indulged it and seemed to fully enjoy the experience. He even took a selfie of Jelani and him and showed it to the great ape.
It is not the first time this happens, though. Ross asked the zoo care staff and found that this particular gorilla has become a local attraction, because it is very fond of gazing at pictures on the visitors' phones.
When he is not engaging in observing images on gadgets, Jelani lives with three other silverbacks, Bengati, Kicho and Cecil. From them, he favors Bengati the most and they like to play and relax together.
At the Louisville Zoo, you can test your communication abilities with your genetic ancestors. Just remember to bring your phone or tablet fully stacked with photos from your last vacation, preferably from Africa and experience how bonding with an ape feels like.