Gorilla Attack?

I have been looking at the thread about the recent chimpanzee attack.

That got me to wondering – has there ever been a documented attack by a gorilla?
(On a human, I mean.) I’m thinking probably not, but could be completely wrong, of course…

Any information would be appreciated.

I think just about every animal has attacked a human at some point. Gorillas are no exception. A Google search turns up cases of gorilla attacks like this one:


There was the Jabari incident at the Dallas zoo in 2004.

I would guess there are fewer people who think “gorillas are cute” and try to raise them like they do chimps.



Chimps are far more ruthless. Gorilla attacks are often no more than a hard chomp on the ass. Two reasons: said ass is haulin’ away as fast as possible, and gorillas seem to be content to let you go with a nip. A chimp demands a pound of flesh.

That’s probably a very good thing. An attack by any good-size primate would be bad, but I shudder to imagine the consequences of something as big and strong as a gorilla going “all-out” on a human being.

Depending on how you look at such things, I expect it would be “better” than the well-known chimp attacks, in that the victim would very quickly be dead.

The above does not apply if the human involved is Tarzan, of couse.

Hey, I didn’t think of that! Very good point.

When I was in college, I was lucky enough to get a job at the San Diego Zoo. It is an awesome place that took very good care of the animals there, and a wonderful place to work. There was an old silver back gorilla named Albert. Albert loved watching the people watch him. He was mellow and enjoyed it for the most part, however, he seemed to get a little upset when a group of idiots did ape imitations in front of him. Pissed him off a bit in fact. He developed a little trick whereby he surreptitiously pooped in his hand and flung it with a quick motion, into the crowd.

He was quite good at it. More than once a visitor was escorted to the security office to have ape poop washed from their hair.

Does that count as an ape attack?

I would say it was a justifiable ape counterattack!

Yes, it struck me while reading the links that despite their size, gorillas seemed to be far less dangerous than chimpanzees. There’s no mention of very severe injury, and one mentions a 3 yo that the gorilla held in mouth and bit surviving apparently without being too seriously wounded.

There have been multiple incidents where gorillas have helped out children in trouble. Has anything like this ever been done by a chimp? Because I don’t think that has ever happened. It’s not conclusive evidence that gorillas are all nice, obviously, but still an interesting data point.

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I was able to go and observe Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda. This is where Dian Fossey hung out. You’re not supposed to get closer than 10 meters but I inadvertently got within about 2 meters of a couple because they would just pop up quite close to you. They are quite docile although they cold rip your head off without too much of a problem, I think. Just don’t go stealing their babies or something stupid.

I remember those incidents! I had them in mind when I composed my query. The gorillas seemed to be very gentle with humans in those instances.