John was on a gorilla-watching tour in Uganda when he had the "heart racing" encounter with a family of apes, including babies.
The video shows John cowering as he is surrounded by the ape family who inspect the "alien" with typical "monkey" curiosity. The inspection encounter begins with the younger ones and John laughs nervously while admitting that his "heart is racing." A voice explains that it could be John's black T-shirt that is making the gorillas think he is an unusual specimen of their kind. A baby gorilla fondles John's hair and grooms it. An adult female joins the inspection exercise. She licks John's ear to confirm taste while baby climbs up a tree to view John from a vantage perspective.
A male silverback watches detached and uninterested while the team of inspectors are engrossed. Then after a while, he rises to leave and urges his family along.
explains that male gorillas are about double the size of the female and weigh on the average 180 kgs (400 lbs). The name "silverback" comes from the saddle-shaped patch of silver hair on their backs.
Gorillas are gentle vegetarians, but the males have strong territorial instincts and may become dangerously aggressive when they feel threatened.
Park rangers said the reaction of the gorillas to John was unusual.