Wednesday, 17 February 2021

The Story Of An Unwanted Pet,

so what do you do when your brother gives you a baby gorilla?

photograph SWNS:South West News Service, Major Penny bought the gorilla on a whim and named it John Daniel, above John with his school mates, unfortunately the major realized he couldn’t look after it. So, in 1918, he sent the infant ape to his sister, Alyce Cunningham, who lived in a small village called Uley, in Gloucester, UK, back to the question, what do you do when your brother gives you a baby gorilla? the answer is obvious of course, just treat John Daniel as a particularly hairy child, John had his own bedroom, could use a light switch, and even knew how to go to the bathroom. Unlike most toddlers, he also developed a liking for cider, the gorilla was popular around the village. John would regularly play and go on walks with the children of Uley junior school. He also enjoyed trips in the Cunningham family’s convertible car and was often seen out and about, from the article,

As the archivist Margaret Groom told the Gloucester Live website:

“Until recently, we had people that remembered him walking around the village with the children. He used to go into gardens and eat the roses.

“The children used to push him around in a wheelbarrow. He knew which house was good for cider, and would often go to that house to draw a mug of cider.

“He was also fascinated by the village cobbler, and would watch him repairing shoes. He had his own bedroom, he could use the light switch and toilet, he made his own bed and helped with the washing up.”

John Daniel was not confined to Uley either. Alyce Cunningham regularly took him to London, where she had a home in upmarket Sloane Street. When there, he would join Alyce’s dinner parties and drink lots of tea.

the young gorilla spent a happy three years in the village from 1918 to 1921, if you want to  read more about the cost and the future life and death of John Daniel, have a look here, a gorilla alive and loose in a English country village, who would have thought it?


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