Spent another fine Thursday morning drawing at the zoo this week... this is Okie. At 17 years old, he's just barely the youngest of the Franklin Park Zoo's male Lowland Gorillas (Little Joe was born a few months earlier), but he's filling out into a terribly handsome adult. He and Little Joe get along well, but as teenagers, they are both prone to contests of fairly dramatic displaying, often brought on in reaction to zoo guests watching them through the exhibit glass (both boys are clearly preferential to the ladies...). In both the above sketch, and the photo below, Okie shows off with the classic posturing, puffed lips, and sideways glance that are usually followed shortly by a rush - maybe a little chest beating - and a startling thump into the glass - it'll make your heart stop even if you're expecting it.
I've spent more time now observing the gorillas at FPZ than I have anywhere else, and these guys continue to impress (while occasionally striking a little fear in me now and again). For all of their relatively advanced (as far as animals go) cognitive abilities, and emotively recognizable gestures and expressions, they still outweigh the average adult human by at least a few hundred pounds, and possess roughly 6 times the muscle strength - factor in a set of canines that would put a fair number of predators to shame, and you've got one mightily awe-inspiring animal.