Gorillas are so much like us! Not in the sense that they're magical creatures filled with empathy and understanding or whatever; in the sense that the ones who live in the U.S. are fat-asses dying of heart disease who love to throw up eat their own vomit in order "to taste sugar again and again." Really! Heart disease is the number-one killer among the type of gorillas that live in the U.S., and zoo gorillas really do barf up their meals and eat them again, apparently four times an hour on average—even though their diet consists entirely of totally delicious-looking, definitely healthy and not-at-all gross red vitamin biscuits!
But researchers think they've solved the fat-gorilla problem. Was it the gross starchy nutrient pellets? Shockingly, yes.
Gone is the bucketful of vitamin-rich, high-sugar and high-starch foods that zoos used for decades to ensure gorillas received enough nutrients.
Instead, Cleveland's Mokolo and Bebac receive a wheelbarrow of romaine lettuce, dandelion greens and endive they gently tear and bite, alfalfa hay they nimbly pick through, young tree branches they strip of succulent bark and leaves, green beans, a handful of flax seeds, and three Centrum Silver multivitamins tucked inside half a smashed banana.
Instead of spending about a quarter of their day eating the old diet, the pair now spends 50 to 60 percent of each day feeding and foraging, about the same amount of time wild gorillas forage.
Although they take in twice as many calories on the new diet, after a year, the big boys of the primate house have dropped nearly 65 pounds each and weigh in the range of their wild relatives.
If Mokolo and Bebac are smart, they're working on the "Wheelbarrow of Dandelion Greens" diet program right now.