Sunday, 29 January 2017

The 'almost human' gorilla who drank tea and went to school

John Daniel with the schoolchildren of Uley, Gloucestershire.John Daniel was no ordinary gorilla. For starters, he was called John Daniel. And he had his own bedroom, drank tea and cider, and could purportedly do his own washing up.
The extraordinary tale of the village that adopted its very own gorilla a century ago is told in a new local history book by a Gloucestershire historian.
Margaret Groom, an archivist at the Uley Society, unearthed a collection of photographs of John, which have been published in her book about the village’s history.The book recounts how villagers in Uley adopted the lowland gorilla after he was captured in Gabon by French soldiers who shot his parents. In 1917, he was spotted for sale in a London department store by Uley resident Maj Rupert Penny, who paid £300 (about £20,000 in today’s money), and named him John Daniel.
Penny’s sister, Alyce Cunningham, raised John as a human boy in the village and used to send John on regular walks with the children of Uley junior school, according to Groom.-READ MORE

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