Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Longleat gorilla taunted by Canada goose

Gorilla or goose - which is better? There's only one way to find out! Credit: Michael Metchen

Stunning pictures have emerged of Nico the gorilla getting in a strop with an unwanted visitor to his island at Longleat safari park in Wilthsire.

Europe’s oldest gorilla ended up getting his feathers well and truly ruffled after the bizarre confrontation with a stroppy goose.

Nico, a silverback lowland gorilla, who's about 55, clearly didn’t take kindly to a pair of Canada geese who attempted to invade his island home at Longleat Safari Park.

The amazing encounter was captured on film by amateur photographer Michael Metchen during a visit to the Wiltshire safari park.

He describes what happened.

I was on the Jungle Cruise boat and as we got to Nico’s island, I couldn't see him; but there were a couple of geese there.

One was standing on top of Nico’s house making tons of noise; I think they may have been looking for a place to nest.

Then all of a sudden I saw Nico’s head pop up and he starts waving his arm at the goose, the goose flies off, then comes straight back for another go, tons of honking and really trying to tell Nico off.

Nico chases it off again but it keeps coming back and in the end he just looks a bit bemused and wanders off to find a quieter spot to sit down.

– Michael Metchen, Amateur Photographer
One distinctly grumpy gorilla - not impressed by the attentions of a Canada goose. Credit: Michael Metchen

It seems Nico isn't too good at controlling his temper.

Although he is now a very old man, Nico is still extremely active and in amazingly good condition.

However, like a lot of us, his temper has not necessarily improved with age and he clearly didn’t appreciate all the noise and disturbance from the geese.

They arrive on the lake every year and remain for several months but it’s unusual for any of them to set foot on to the island.

Although Nico didn’t come out on top initially, the geese clearly decided there were easier places to set up home and we haven’t seen them since.

– Mark Tye, Keeper

The gorilla, who lives on an island in the middle of a lake at Longleat, has a purpose built, centrally-heated house, complete with classical pillars and satellite television.

Longleat star Nico - 'Why can't they just leave me alone?' Credit: Michael Metchen