Bolingo the Gorilla Doesn't Belong at an Amusement Park

Busch Gardens, in Tampa Bay, is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the area. The amusement park is a place where all of us, young and old can go to unwind and be entertained. But while the tourists are laughing, some of the other guests are having far less fun.

Recently, the park shared a seemingly harmless video of Bolingo the gorilla and his trainer. The trainer does a handstand on one side of the glass and the gorilla agilely does one on the other. It truly is an astounding sight to see something so big, be so quick and flexible. What's more, it's amusing to see the gorilla mimic his human companion.

But it's very likely that Bolingo isn't as amused. Busch Gardens says these kinds of tricks provide the primate with "mental and physical stimulation." And that's the problem -- in the wild, gorillas like other animals would not need stimulation. Their natural existence would be stimulating enough. In the wild, gorillas would be able to traverse wide ranges, explore the landscape, eat at their leisure and interact with others of their kind.

The fact that Busch Gardens has to devise things to keep Bolingo occupied is a sad reminder of just how boring life in captivity can be.

What's worse is that Busch Gardens isn't even a zoo, it's a theme park where families go to ride waterslides and rollercoasters. Its abuzz with activity and noise, no place for a gorilla who would normally be tucked away in the thick jungles of the mountains of Africa, hidden from the noise of the cities far below.

Please ask Busch Gardens to stop subjecting their gorilla to a boring life. Sign the petition and ask them to release Bolingo to a sanctuary.
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