Wizard enrages Orana Park gorillas
A self-proclaimed Christchurch wizard has been slapped with a ban from Orana Wildlife Park after he began chanting and beating his chest at the gorillas.
Orana staff say Andrew Wright's actions riled their largest gorilla so much he charged the glass to try to get at his tormentor.
Gorilla keeper Rob Clifford says he told Mr Wright that his actions were upsetting the three gorillas, but he believed they were reacting positively to him.
"Their perception is 'it's great, the gorilla high-fived me' [when it slaps] the glass," Mr Clifford says. "[Or] 'the gorilla played tag with me' which was a shoulder-charge to the glass. It's an uneducated view on what actually happened."
Mr Wright was not available for comment, but Christchurch's most well-known wizard says his behaviour was decidedly unwizardly.
"We don't normally go out and beat our chests in front of gorilla cages," The Wizard says. "It's not the normal behaviour of wizards. You wouldn't get merit points for that."
Mr Wright has had his membership to the park revoked indefinitely, and Orana staff say people are welcome to visit the gorillas, as long as they don't act like one.