Talk about a crappy trip to the zoo.
A grandma got nailed in the face with a piece of poo by a dirty-handed chimpanzee in a YouTube video that’s gone absolutely ape on the web.
Guests were watching a boisterous chimp hooting and hollering at the bottom of an enclosure at the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Sunday when without warning the chimp made an underhanded throw towards the crowd.
The act fired up screams and laughter among the people. As the camera turned to look at the object of the commotion, one woman summed it up perfectly: “It got Grandma!”
There, sitting in the front row, grandma turned to reveal a chunk of feces stuck to her nose. (Everyone was laughing, but we can only imagine what happened when they got home.)
In a statement, the zoo acknowledged the filthy incident but suggested that the chimp’s behavior was fueled by the audience’s own antics.
“One of the chimpanzees is very focused on and likes to interact with people. Sometimes, this chimpanzee will exhibit behaviors that some people respond to with laughter, loud noises, and imitation. This, unfortunately, encourages even more of this behavior and resulted in the situation on Sunday,” the zoo stated in a Facebook post.
The YouTube video’s description also discourages “taunting” and “teasing” of animals in zoo habitats, stating: “Zoo staff would like to keep animals as calm and comfortable in their habitats as possible. It is critical to not tap on glass, shout at the animals, or attempt to feed them.”
Though the video is listed as having been filmed by a member of the zoo’s staff, the zoo, in its statement, said that it was taken by a guest and “not a current zoo employee.”
The zoo added that its staff met with a chimpanzee behavioral specialist over this past winter to encourage “more appropriate behaviors” among their animals. They also plan to install additional barriers to prevent such an incident from happening again.
Not everyone responding to the Facebook post agreed with the idea of more barriers, however, or the zoo apologizing for what happened ― as unfortunate as the incident was.