Zookeepers have captured the adorable moment five-year-old gorilla Gernot showed off the perfect roly poly this week at ZSL London Zoo – after playfully practising the move all summer.
Footage taken by zookeepers shows the youngster preparing himself on a tree stump before pirouetting backwards and cartwheeling into a perfectly executed forward roll - making it a quadruple for good measure - while visitors gasp in appreciation.
Head of Primates at ZSL London Zoo, Dan Simmonds, said: “Gernot’s been working on the perfect roly poly for a while now - we spotted him showing off for his older sister, Alika, during lockdown - but even we have to agree, with the addition of the cartwheel, he's finally nailed it.”
According to his keepers, the youngest member of the Zoo’s troop of Critically Endangered Western lowland gorillas, Gernot has always been both playful and fearless - swinging speedily between the ropes in the troop’s indoor gym, and racing to the very top of the outdoor climbing island of their Gorilla Kingdom home.
“Gernot’s mum Effie and aunt Mjukuu kept a close eye on him when he was a baby as he was always sneaking away from them to work on his climbing skills and show off for our visitors.”
Dan added: “Now Gernot has mastered roly polys, we can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.”
Celebrate half-term with a visit to ZSL London Zoo this October: from Saturday 24 October to Sunday 1 November, families are invited to discover the costumes of the animal kingdom on self-guided trails – across 36 acres of leafy, outdoor, wide-open space at the heart of Regent’s Park.