December 8, 2016

A childhood memory of Woodland Park Zoo’s gorilla Bobo

I can’t be sure what age I was when I saw Bobo the gorilla for first and last time in his short life. I didn’t even know his history that day at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. It must have been when I was of grade school age, but I don’t know why I was at the zoo, or whom I was with. I suspect it was my Moline grandparents, and maybe my own parents as well. In any case, there was just one mental scene I remember that included Bobo.

It was rather mesmerizing to watch him in his enclosure. I think he was all by himself and it seems like it was a sunny day. His zoo family of caretakers had given him a few slices of white bread and oranges cut in half. He held a slice of bread in his left hand and easily squeezed a half an orange over it so the middle was nice any orange-juicy. The next action is what surprised me. He then ate just the middle out of the bread and threw the rest away! This was my first experience with a living being that didn’t get admonished for wasting food.

You can read more about Bobo and his history at History Link, a free site for Washington State History.

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