Gorilla's Kiddie Pool Flashdance Will Inspire You To Dance Like Nobody's Watching
Just like humans, animals love a good pool party when temps soar in the summer.
Earlier in the week, the 14-year-old Western Lowland primate was filmed splishing and splashing in his personal kiddie pool by his handler at the Dallas Zoo.
Both completely bananas and completely relatable, the clip was uploaded to YouTube, where it quickly (and unsurprisingly) found a viral audience — over 1.25 million views as of the time of publication — and spilled over to the social web.
On Twitter, the breakdancing beast started to trend when Joel Pavelski, a writer with GQ, shared the video with his 12,000 followers:
"This dancing gorilla is the best goddamn thing I've seen on the Internet this year".
But as is so often the case on the internet, the short needed a little something extra — a sticky je ne sais quoi — to really put it over the top and into the red.
Enter Bob Hagh, a videographer with the Star-Telegram, who remixed it with the missing ingredient: A snippet of "Maniac", the most iconic cut from 1983's hugely popular Flashdance soundtrack.
You'll want to unmute it, below, for the full effect!
Zola 2.0, the internet agreed, was literally perfect.
"hahaha magical", remarked Pavelski, whose original tweet was quickly swallowed up by Hagh's, which subsequently garnered nearly 60,000 shares on the microblogging platform.
"this is absolutely incredible, thank you for this gift", wrote one woman.
"Bob this is sincerely one of the best things I've ever seen on the internet", enthused another commenter.
"Bob wins the internet this week! well done sir, well done", opined one his fellow journos.
"This is amazing. Zola is my spirit animal!"
Fun stuff, right? But as the zoo noted on its blog, Zola's behavior isn't totally without purpose or value.
Enrichment helps enhance the environment and lives of animals by providing them with mental and physical stimulation to increase natural and healthy behavior. This is an important component in caring for all zoo animals, but primate enrichment is among the most complex and varied.
Enrichment can take many forms; it can be an object such as a ball, a scent like an herb or perfume, visual stimulation such as a mirror, a change in an animal's company or location, an activity like painting or training, introduction of a new food, or a challenging food presentation… the options are almost limitless! As keepers, we are constantly coming up with new and fresh ways to enrich our animals. And clearly the pool is a favorite for Zola!
Zola's "dancing" is really just a play behavior (there was no breakdance music playing in the building, we promise). Play is a natural behavior present in a wide array of animals. In fact, the presence of play can signify an animal is content or comfortable, and it is recognized as an indicator for general welfare. It is easy for anyone to appreciate the good time that Zola is having in the pool because we recognize some of the same signs of play that we see in people.
Never change, Zola, never change.