Just so we’re clear the silverback gorilla did in fact stop in the middle of the road and allow his family cross safely, but it wasn’t him that stopped traffic. The people watching for him and his family to cross stopped the traffic so that they could pass. I will grant that the big guy did stop in the middle of the road until the majority of his family was across, showing some dominance. But it’s a bit presumptuous really to say that he did everything. Chances are the gorillas would have waited until there was no one coming along the road to pass, which could have been a while since it seems as though that road might be a bit heavily traveled.
I could be wrong though, but it seems more like the gorillas don’t care that the people are there so long as their family is safe within the bushes. Silverbacks are often notorious for being the most dominant in their group and at times the most aggressive since they are the protectors and the central figure of each family. Blackbacks, which are subordinate males in the group, are more or less the helpers of the silverbacks and are younger. Gorillas are interesting creatures really but not fully understood even now. People have been trying to research and gain a full and comprehensive understanding of gorillas for so long that you would think they’d have enough to do more than guess at certain behaviors. Being awed is easy since anything in nature is worthy of the expression and feeling.
But even after books, movies, documentaries, and untold hours of studying gorillas still prove to be just as unpredictable as humans, and still predictable in many other ways. They are reputed to be genetically similar to human beings despite our vast differences on the outside. Many people wouldn’t want to hear that they’re genetically similar to a wild animal but the truth is that human beings are animals as well, just very differentiated ones that have learned how to use their brain in different ways. To those that think the first human beings were spawned knowing everything and being able to comprehend the world around them take a look at what happens when a baby is born. From the first day we draw breath we’re learning, and from that point on we continue to learn and adapt our world much as a wild animal does.
The difference is that most human beings don’t live in the wild, and that’s about it. We look different because of our species. We act differently because of how we’re taught. If a human were ever raised by a gorilla, which would be deemed fantastical and highly unethical if it were to ever be replicated, they would learn to walk, communicate, and think like a gorilla. There would be the chance that they might have different thought processes and feelings that they didn’t understand, but without anyone around to teach them different that would be the world they knew.
We’re worlds apart from the gorilla, but in some ways we’re a lot closer than people think. When it comes to protecting our families, we tend to be a LOT closer.