A gorilla photobombs two children in a quite rare occurrence, and the amusing picture has gone viral on the internet. The silverback gorilla, Motaba, was behind the glass wall of an Australia zoo when he decided to invade the picture of two young girls, Ella O'Brien, 6, and her sister Bridget, 4.
The gorilla's photobomb happened when Ella and Bridget were posing in front of his exhibit. Remembering that apes have an affinity for bananas, the girls held up their fruit, which attracted the attention of Motaba, the 350-pound western lowland silverback gorilla. The photo snapped shows the 29-year-old ape with his tongue pressed against the glass, apparently eager for a banana.
The photo, which has since gone viral on a number of news sites, helps promotes the Werribee Open Range Zoo's "Go Bananas with Gorillas" program, which lets visitors get up close and personal with the majestic animals.
"It would appear that this gorilla is simply bananas for bananas!" Rex USA wrote underneath their widespread picture. "Motaba the gorilla was sent into a frenzy at the Werribee Open Range Zoo … after she spotted two young visitors with her favorite snack."
Motaba is one of three apes zoo visitors can interact with during the up close and personal exhibit. Inside the 6,000-square meter area are the gorilla's sons Yakini and Ganyeka, who enjoy the large poles and wading pools of the facility.
Motaba moved to the Werribee Zoo in 2011 and turned 29 in December.
Despite the lighthearted nature of the photos, some critics felt it wasn't nice to taunt the gorilla with bananas, luring him to photobomb the children. However, the zoo made it clear that Motaba was not being poorly treated or misled.
"There was no prank and absolutely no taunting of our beautiful silverback gorilla," Zoos Victoria wrote on the Metro.co.uk comment section. "Our gorilla, Motaba, is licking honey from the window, a very regular enrichment activity that occurs daily as we place honey and fruit treats around his enclosure for him to discover."
"Our gorilla keepers were present at the time of the photo shoot and have confirmed there was no distress to any of the gorillas," they added.
The Go Bananas with Gorillas program is designed to call attention to the "They're Calling On You" mobile phone recycling effort, which in turn support gorillas in the wild, as they are an endangered species. Habitat destruction, poaching for gorilla meat, and disease has severely harmed the silverback gorilla population.