Gorilla charges at visitor at Franklin Park Zoo

BOSTON (WHDH) - A day at Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo took a wild turn when one of the gorillas got feisty and charged at a man Saturday.

The zoo visitor was very grateful for the glass that protected him from the charging silverback.

The unexpected encounter was caught on camera, as a huge silverback gorilla first pounded his chest and then leapt against the glass.

“He was fast like lightning,” said Mark McDonald, who shot the video while he was with his fiancé Michelle.

“No one was antagonizing him, no one was banging on the window, no one was doing weird things or jumping up and down,” said Michelle Termine.

They said they had been watching the gorilla for about 10 minutes, and noticed the gorilla was very responsive to visitors.

“The gorilla was interacting somewhat with people” McDonald said. “We saw him actually slam a wall and I said, ‘I wish I caught that on video,’ so I started filming.”

McDonald said once the gorilla started pounding his chest, he knew something was going to happen.

“He completely faked us out, looked right when he went left at me, and then he basically came at me with a huge karate chop and attacked me,” McDonald said. “It was just amazing.”

Despite the up-close scare, the couple said they were happy to catch it on video and share it with family and friends.

“Thank God the glass was there, I felt like he was coming through the glass it was so loud,” McDonald said.

According to the Franklin Park Zoo, the gorilla is 23-year-old Okie. They said the behavior captured on video is natural for gorillas to do, and Okie has exhibited it from time to time in order to claim his territory.

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