Gorilla grin – Gorilla smiles in battle for dominance
This gorilla might look like he’s giving the camera a hearty grin.
In fact he’s telling the others to back off.
Kiondo, a 15-year-old western lowland gorilla at Paignton Zoo, is in competition with another male to be the big boss.
As a wide, threatening grin is a sign of power, the great 29st beast is giving it all he has got.
Kiondo has been a resident at Paignton Zoo Environment Park in Devon since 2006, when he arrived from Stuttgart as a four-year-old.
His dominant display was captured by photographer Miriam Haas.
Philip Knowling, from Paignton Zoo, said: “Our bachelor group of Western lowland gorillas plays an important role in the European conservation breeding programme for the species, providing somewhere for young male gorillas to grow up among other gorillas.
“Kiondo displays regularly, throws things and poses to make sure everyone knows what a great gorilla he is.
“He’s a show-off because he is – or is trying to be – the dominant male in the group. He’s about equal with one of the others, hence all the face-pulling and acting up.
“Bear in mind that as big and as tough as he is, he’s a vegetarian, existing purely on root veg and greens – he’s a great advert for a healthy diet.
“We no longer give our gorillas fruit. Research concluded that fruit grown for himan consumption was too sugary for them and was leading to tooth decay and other complications.
“In the wild, any fruit they eat would be hard and probably sour.”