THIS JUST IN: Breakdancing Gorilla

Nine-year-old Zola is a Western lowland gorilla at the Calgary Zoo. Because he loves to splash in water, his keepers make sure he has plenty of puddles to play in. To Zola, it’s just good clean fun, but toss in a break-dancing beat, and you have “Breakin’ II: Splish-Splashin’ Boogaloo.”



  1. Mamabear says:

    “Word to ya mutha!”

  2. Fird Birfle says:

    Dancin’ at the clubs… The MEN there — they’re ALWAYS such BEASTS!!!

  3. Fird Birfle says:

    Alternative Capshon: “Xavion Glover, eatcher HEART out !!!111!!!” 🙂

  4. I Haz a Funny Bone says:

    Inspired! Go Zola! And yay for the keepers who noticed what he likes and are sure to provide puddles. 🙂

  5. Mamabear says:

    Loved the song and all, but I would love to see the clip put to:

    I want them to teach her how to ride a bike, how to weld, iceskate, knit her some leg warmers, land her position with a dance company, and win her the guy at the end…complete with a bouquet of roses.

    Is that too much for a gorilla to hope for?!!

  6. Talented… 😉

  7. Fird Birfle says:

    PS: “Zola” = “he” ????

  8. Not That Mike The Other Mike says:

    Rather abrupt ending, though: “WHEE I’M TWIRLING AND HAVING FUN! I’M SPLASHING AND HAVING FUN! FUN FUN FUN FUN ok I’m bored now thanks bye…”

  9. yep

  10. lol… just like humans… and people don’t think we’re related???

  11. marthava says:

    Thems is some looong arms…

  12. marthava says:

    What happened to the thumbs up/down-rating-comments thingies? I liked them.

  13. Madame X says:

    That is one happy ape!

    And he made me happy too!

  14. Marshwiggle says:

    That’s what I was wondering! I like giving thumbs up to people.

  15. Me, too! Bring ’em back!!1!1!!

  16. yay! the voting widgets are gone!

    this is not a place to come to be judged


    is a place



    (insert boogaloo music and epic moves here)

  17. Possibly named for Emile Zola.

  18. He probably just realized his mom made him some peanut butter and jelly crackers for lunch. That’s what usually brought me in from the sprinklers.

  19. Alternate soundtrack: Lord of the Dance (look at the footwork from 0:10 on – Mr Flatley himself would be green with envy)

  20. Well the music stopped, so of course he would stop 😉

  21. The little patch of belly fur is killing me.

  22. rosieumana says:

  23. I live about 40 minutes away from Calgary, Alberta. I’ll have to go visit and get some more footage (btw, you take photos, you are a photographer. if you take footage, are you then a ?)

  24. kibblenibble says:

    I’m with you Blair. 🙂

  25. WOW that was amazing and adorable all at once. Fantastic!

    I love that animals never lose that child-like quality. Splashing in puddles definitely used to be entertaining to me, too! Though I don’t think my parents ever put it to hip-hop music …

  26. I’m thinking they may actually be an advantage when breakdancing. You know, center of gravity and all that?

    Those spinningk moves are awesome.

  27. Zola has Happy Feet!

  28. leannkaattari says:

    A footographer, o’ course.

  29. Hee Hee ! you beat me by that much ! ( holding fingers 1/4 in apart )

  30. While it seems to like the water, I have to ask why it is not in an outdoor big pond or splashing around with companions in lots of puddles in a natural setting of trees and ropes and water for mental stimulation. A metal and concrete cage is a desperately sad place to confine wild animals. Repetitive movements are a sure sign of mental distress and stimulatin deprivation, just like walking up and down, spinning around continuosly, and swaying backwards and forwards. Zoocheck (Virginia McKenna of “Born Free” fame).See
    for more information by experts.
    I looked

  31. LOL that is so surreal and hilarious 😀

  32. Malinki says:

    Cripwalkin’, yo.

  33. AlbertaGirl says:

    As a Calgarian and former zoo volunteer, I can tell you that the area you are seeing is the behind the scenes part of the gorilla enclosure. The public part (and the part where the gorillas spend most of their time) is beautifully landscaped, very natural, and has elements that can be changed daily for enrichment. Also, the gorillas are free to come and go from the behind the scenes area to the public area as they please. No worries – these gorillas are very well cared for. 😉

  34. this is why we need the voting widget. thumbs down!

  35. Thank you for the reassurance! I guess he loves to play with puddles wherever he is!

  36. 2ScoopsRice says:

    Himz haz sum dansin skillz! Ai lub himz twurlee wurlee peer-oh-whetz an tappee hap pee feetsez!

  37. Mamabear says:

    Oooh, I give the whole ‘thumbs up, thumbs down” a thumbs down.

    I saw too many thumbs down on totally innoculous things. I don’t mean just on the ’nuffers’, but also perfectly sane and/or good and/or happy and friendly comments. I think it’s too easy to just thumbs up and thumbs down things with relative anonymity and, personally, would rather someone just reply with whatever kind words or if they were offended, then at least explain why.

    Just me.

  38. Would you be happy in an enclosure? Neither is he.

  39. Mamabear says:


    I explain that above, but currently, it is in moderation.

  40. tracylee says:

    oh I’ve finally found the Gorilla-My-Dreams!

  41. Peanut butter jelly time!

  42. I’m with you, too. Having those little thumbs below my postings was giving me flop sweat. Getting thumbs downs bummed me out disproportionately. I liked the thumbs-ups, though, and I liked giving them. On the whole, yeah, being judged and all, didn’t feel right here, but having a quick way to cheer for a great post was nice. Oh well, I guess we can’t it both ways, at least not on WordPress.

  43. Mamabear says:

    “Repetitive movements are a sure sign of mental distress and stimulatin deprivation…”

    I could not help but guffaw at this part, simply because all I could think about was my job and how this sentence could often be used to sum it up, lol.

    Also, so I don’t take up more space for another comment, I’m really struggling to stifle a Price is Right losing horn to jjjjjjj’s comment. I’m going to have to go to youtube just so I can hear it now! Warm up them trombones!

  44. Madame X says:

    What did you expect? S/he’s a Canadian cat, ergo, bilingual.


  45. Oh, you made me do it!

  46. Since we can’t do thumbs anymore, I’m reduced to this:


  47. Phew … thanks for that. I was also worried.

  48. ams1001 says:

    He’d have had a blast around here today! Poured rain all the way home. But still there was sun… I had the awesomest rainbow right in front of my car for a few minutes. 😀

  49. Lewis n' Clark says:

    I’m with you 100%, Mamabear.

  50. Theresa, you’re a video genius! 🙂

  51. I agree… I think it created an atmosphere that may have made people reluctant to post stuff, for fear of being downrated. I think a better idea would be just a thumbs up, similar to Facebook’s ‘Like’ button :). Promote positivity!!

    (Chrome is squiggly-red-underlining “positivity”–apparently it’s not a word?? Weird)

  52. Then again, Zola might just be enjoying the water. Repetitive movements, indeed!

  53. I cannot believe no one’s brought up the obvious source for these steps and choreography:

  54. Andi from NC says:


  55. Fird Birfle says:

    *I get Flop Sweat even when Not Onstage*
    Should I be worried?

  56. Fird Birfle says:

    @ Trixie:
    in re.: “Positivity”:


    — n

    Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
    2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
    Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009

    let’s discuss the phrase “squiggly-red-underlining”, shall we, hmmmmmm????

  57. Fird Birfle says:


    (Only intended, in appreciative fun)

  58. Personally, I think people who post innoculous things oughta be vaccinated. 😀

    Seriously, though, I felt the thumbs down option provided too many opportunities for abuse.

  59. I have to keep coming back to this one. Makes me smile! (And to the nuffers, it is obv s/he’s having fun!) Loves me some happy feet at 0:10!!!! What an adorable gorilla!

  60. Bookend says:

    Okay, multiple parts. First off, the “LOLZ! Happy gorilla! Awesome video; perfect for putting one in a good mood!” part.

    Secondly: Lots of animals like the concept of privacy once it’s introduced to them, and I’ve seen multiple animals – tame as well as wild – seek away from the main group for a shorter or longer period of time when they found a nearby area that offered privacy (such as a zoo-animal leaving the main enclosure to spending time in the interior area).

    Third: Zola here might just like to play in the very shallow puddles, where you can get the right “splorp splorp” noises while stomping. It not only makes a great noise, but it also feels funny on the feet (a feeling that you cannot always replicate on dirt ground due to mud). If you notice his expression, he is having LOTS of fun.

    So three cheers for happy Zola, and may he splosh around in puddles for many more videos! 😀

  61. A few years ago there some videos from japan of a gorilla doing the same thing as this guy in Ohio. However, the way this other gorilla spun around on the floor of his enclosure, and striking dramatic poses, reminded me of a figure skater on ice. My mother loves that video, and commented that it looks like humans are not the only animals who figure skate.

  62. Of course *I* know it’s a word, but tell that to Chrome!!

  63. mplsdeb says:

    I give an A…it’s gotta good beat and you dance to it.”

  64. Mike Mike says:

    *Stereotyped* movements, perhaps, is what was meant. Lots of perfectly normal behaviors, like eating, playing, and having sex involve repetitive movements. It’s certain abnormal behaviors (like rocking, pacing, over-grooming, etc.) that you can use as markers for distress, and there’s no evidence from this video that this gorilla is engaging in those behaviors.

  65. I once watched a Jane Goodall documentary where some of the chimpanzees she studied in the wild liked to spin around and dance. One chimpanzee still danced around even after her one arm became paralyzed from polio. Also after seeing a number of YouTube videos of dancing animals in the wild and in the zoo I figured out animals love to dance as much as us humans do! I’m not counting animals forcibly trained to do tricks, but ones who do it naturally or with praise and treats ( like dogs doing tricks to get a biscuit).

  66. Sounds like my day yesterday in Montreal! Double rainbow for a couple of hours! Beautiful! 🙂

  67. HA!