By George Fox
These zoo patrons and one senior lady in particular got more than they bargained for with the price of admission.
A chimpanzee took matters into its own hands Sunday to communicate with spectators at the exhibit flinging feces into the crowd. Raucous laughter and shrieks erupt from the zoo patrons as a sizable chunk of excrement sticks to an elderly woman’s nose. She shoots a horrified look and someone off camera cries, “it got grandma!”
Erin Vargo, a former employee of John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, captured the video and posted it to Facebook.
Vargo knew something was going to happen because this particular male chimp is known as the “serial poop flinger”.
“He was being vocal, gritting his teeth and people were taunting him making a lot of monkey noises.” said Vargo adding that the chimp was aggravated.
Vargo from Spring Lake, Mich. worked part-time at the zoo two summers ago, answering guest questions and doing demonstrations at some exhibits.
The woman who was struck by the poop in the video isn’t related to Vargo.
“I think this would be a good opportunity to remind people not to taunt the animals. This can happen.” warned Vargo.
Spokesperson Andy McIntyre said the family was understanding, but the zoo doesn’t think the whole thing very funny.
“Our job is, really, we want people to engage with wildlife and walk away with an appreciation, and we find these animals to be majestic and awe-inspiring,” McIntyre told WWJ Newsradio 950. “You know, I wouldn’t want something like this to be — the humor in it that some might find, you know — we wouldn’t want that to be something that people are focused on.”
“The reason we exist it to bring people closer to wildlife for an appreciation,” he added, “not for something that’s humorous.”
McIntyre the zoo is planning to put additional barriers in place to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.
The zoo’s blog lists seven chimps including males Donnie and Sammy and females Jody, Susie, Kiambi, Peggy and Sanga.