- Belfast Zoo closed its gates to visitors due to snow and ice in Northern Ireland
- One silverback gorilla, named Gugas, has made the most of the snowy weather
- The primate exhibits creativity and adaptability – by making perfect snowballs
A cheeky silverback gorilla took advantage of the recent snowfall and showcased his playful side after Belfast Zoo closed its gates due to Arctic conditions.
As snow and ice blanket parts of Northern Ireland, with a number of schools and roads closed across the region, Belfast Zoo announced on January 16 that the visitor attraction is to remain closed until weather conditions improve.
The zoo uploaded a post, alongside a video of the gorilla, to their Facebook page, which reads: ‘Belfast Zoo is closed today due to the wintry weather. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.’
Away from the public eye, one primate, named Gugas, took to exploring the layer of snow cloaking the grounds of his enclosure – by delicately fashioning snowballs.
Gugas was filmed by a zookeeper on Tuesday, who captured the fascinating moment the silverback exhibits an impressive level of creativity and concentration.
In the footage, Gugas can be seen standing on his legs in a hunched position, taking care as to not to place his bottom on the cold ground.
Using his right arm, the gorilla strategically sweeps snow towards him as he concentrates on building a snowball from the pile, using his left hand as a base.
Gugas appears to deeply concentrate on his task, as he maintains eye contact with the mound of snow while firmly rounding off his snowballs.
The motive behind this winter endeavor remains a mystery, leaving zoo staff amused and intrigued by the gorilla’s unique behavior.
The incident has not only brought joy to the zookeepers, but has also become a viral hit on social media, with Gugas gaining unexpected fame as a snowball-savvy silverback.
Reflective of the gorilla’s intelligence and adaptability, the incident has attracted a crowd of eager visitors who await the zoo’s reopening to catch a glimpse of Gugas and his winter wonderland antics.
On Belfast Zoo’s Facebook post, the video received over 2000 likes from animal lovers, and over 800 people gushed over the gorilla’s antics in the comments.
One person said, ‘How adorable,’ while another jokingly commented, ‘He’s trying to make a Snow Gorilla!’
A wishful individual wrote, ‘I’d love to watch them in the snow,’ to which their friend responded with, ‘Would love to watch em for a day!’
As the Northern Irish capital embraces the wintry conditions, Gugas’ playful antics serve as a reminder of the delightful surprises nature and wildlife can bring, even during temporary closures.
Meanwhile, in the United States, a cuddly polar bear at the Buffalo Zoo has been making the most of the wintry blast, and has been filmed rolling around in the snow.
Luna, 11, was spotted making snow angels while little flakes fell from the sky in New York on Tuesday morning.
‘Luna celebrating #VictoryTuesday with some polar bear snow angels!’ the zoo wrote in the video caption on Instagram.