Gorillas are apparently afraid of Shaquille O’Neal, after multiple visits by the NBA and commercial cameo legend resulted in the primates being alarmed by his presence.
The NBA veteran recounted the phenomena on his podcast, stating that the the gorillas freak out when he approaches their enclosure at zoos around the world, often becoming aggressive and trying to fight him.
“True story,” Shaq said. “I’ve been to every zoo in the world, and every time I go to the gorilla section, they look at me like, ‘Hey man, where your fur at?’ For real. For real. That’s how they look at me. They also look at me like, ‘What am I doing in here and you out there?’ And they always go crazy when they see me.”
When credibility was questioned, Shaq called Miami Zoo communications director Ron Magill, who confirmed the story.
According to Business Insider, Magill went on to say that a male gorilla that sees Shaq often “gets intimated, and he looks at Shaq and thinks that Shaq is going to take away his girls, and he gets tight-lipped and tries to stand up and make himself look as big as possible.”
“But at the end of the day, he backs off,” Magill said. “He knows who’s boss.”
O’Neal, who is just over seven feet tall and weighs 325 pounds, joked that if he grew his hair out, he’d be a “Silverback Gorilla” rather than a “Silver Fox.”
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