By Harriet Whitehead
This is one rock’n’roll gorilla who appeared to rock out and play the air guitar in the summer sunshine.
Hilarious pictures show western lowland gorilla N’Dowe clearly ‘in the moment’ with his eyes closed, chin out and hands poised as if he’s strumming a guitar.
With the intense look on his face the alpha male really appears in his element.
Zoo chiefs reckon although N’Dowe hasn’t yet got his hands on a real guitar he would be pretty good at playing it – and could probably belt out Welcome to the Jungle by Guns N’ Roses with his toes.
But despite looking like a hard core rocker, staff at Paignton Zoo in Devon claim he is in fact a gentle giant.
The 14-year-old is the highest ranking of the bachelor gorillas due to his size and strength – which means he usually gets first dibs on food.
Paignton Zoo spokesman Phil Knowling described N’Dowe (pronounced Endovay) as a ‘great thinker’.
Phil said: “He loves to go fishing with sticks.
“A gentle soul, his favourite food is pretty much anything – he eats the lot.
“He’s never got his hands on a real guitar but he might be pretty good as a gorilla hand is much like a human hand, with four fingers and an opposable thumb.
“Human thumbs are longer and more dexterous, but gorillas have opposable thumbs and opposable toes.
“N’Dowe could probably play the guitar with his feet, too – beat that, Jimi Hendrix!”
Western lowland gorillas are a critically endangered species.
Paignton Zoo’s bachelor group play a vital role in international gorilla conservation, providing somewhere for young males 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.