By Harriet Whitehead

This gorilla looks ready to charge into battle armed with a spear in a scene reminiscent of Hollywood film Braveheart.

Western lowland gorilla Kivu was snapped carrying a large stick as he roamed around his enclosure in Paignton Zoo, Devon.


Looking towards the camera, the 400lb beast lurches forward with his mouth open clutching the stick as if he’s about to go to war.

The sequence of pictures, taken by a regular zoo visitor last week, show Kivu then lobbing the stick into a moat.

The gorilla wouldn’t look out of place in the 1995 war epic starring Mel Gibson.


The photographer said: “At the afternoon talk they sometimes display their dominance to each other, which is good to watch.

“Kivu found a big stick and decided to display, or charge, with it.

“Later he picked up the stick again and threw it underarm into the moat surrounding their island.”


Kivu, who is 16 years old, arrived at the zoo in 2006 and is described as a very smart gorilla who loves showing off.

Paignton Zoo has a bachelor group of Western lowland gorillas which are a critically endangered species.

The zoo provides a place for them to grow up in a social environment.


Some may move on to be the dominant males in bachelor or family groups in other collections as part of the European breeding programme.