Video of monkey attempting to attack man at zoo goes viral

Posted Feb 19, 2012 by Kim I. Hartman
A video of a monkey performing acrobatics has goes viral after it was uploaded to YouTube along with a description that claims the alpha male white cheeked gibbons was attempting to attack a man seen in the the clip through the glass at the Memphis Zoo.
YouTube screen grab
The video footage was filmed inside the Cathouse Cafe at the Memphis Zoo and uploaded to YouTube by NRucker5, who said in the video description, "The manager of the cafe told me that the alpha male monkey noticed me the second I walked in the door and started going crazy, because, as the alpha male, he feels threatened by tall males. So she told me to go stand by the window and turn my back on him and that he would 'attack' me."
Or at least that's what it looks like in the amusing video. But according to zoo officials "the encounter was less aggressive than it appeared on tape," reports WMCTV.
"To be honest, I've actually seen them do the same thing with young children, the male and the female," said zoo employee Abby Dane. "They're very playful. Those two gibbons were actually hand raised by two of the zoo keepers here at the Memphis Zoo. They're nine and ten years old. So, they're just young and playful."
The popular video of the of the primate's 'monkeying around' has garnered over 1.25 million viewers since it was posted online a few days ago, with a few commenters saying they have seen the same behaviour from the white cheeked gibbons during visits to the zoo's cafe.
The zoo said they created the gibbons exhibit with the intention of encouraging interaction between the primates and guests dining at the cafe.
"We want to encourage people to connect with them," Dane said. "That's the zoo's whole mission statement - to connect people to wildlife." But Dane cautions visitors to "remember they are interacting with wild animals. So you're encouraged to treat them with respect and shouldn't agitate them, but you also shouldn't mistake a playful hello for a bad temper."