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Sounds

Gorillas make quite a lot of sounds(around 20 I once read), but most of them are so soft you won't hear them in zoos. The only exception is screaming. That happens when females have an argument about food or you hear it when a youngster is handled to rough by an older sibling. Because of the sound of that scream, you can hear it through windows (the screams of adults better than those of a youngster of course).

Another sound they make now and then is coughing. When a gorilla comes too close to another one, that one warns the one approaching to stay away with that cough. Again: in most zoos you don't hear it (but you can see it, the belly moves). Only when there are no visitors in Artis I can hear it there (because the windows are not against the ceiling).

There, in Artis, you can also hear some other sounds. The most special one is the 'singing' when the gorillas there are in their 'sleeping area' and the keepers put food down in their enclosure. I really love that sound and treasure rainy week days when it's not crowded in Artis. Chest beats also can be heard in Artis now and then and in other zoos when they're outside. The singing and other sounds also can be heard in Apenheul when the gorillas are inside. They have speakers in the visitors part so you can hear the gorillas. If I had anything to say about it, those speakers would be put in more gorilla buildings.

The most special sound of a gorilla (at least, that's my opinion) can't be heard behind any window. It's a sort of soft, short 'growl'. That's a sound they make when they're satisfied. I twice had the change to hear that from a gorilla on a few centimetres distance (I had the opportunity to go backstage in two zoos) and I was really overwhelmed by it. To hear that gorilla greeting me in that way ... I still get goose flesh when I think of it, even now. It was the best thing ever. People who visited gorillas in the wild, might know that sound too.

Another amazing sound is a kid laughing. Take a look here for a wonderful video of a laughing gorilla at GRACE (turn on the sound!!!).

Many people (young and old) say 'ooh ooh ah ah' when they look at the gorillas but that's a sound I never heard coming out of the gorillas (or any other ape/monkey).

 
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