A critically-endangered silverback gorilla who walks like a man has become a big attraction at a wild animal park.

Footage on YouTube of Western lowland gorilla Ambam aping humans with his walk has been viewed more than 250,000 times. See footage at http://www.youtube.com/kentanimalpark

Normally gorillas are used to getting around on all fours but 21-year-old male Ambam has managed to perfect his balance on his two hind legs.

He has become something of a celebrity at Port Lympne wild animal park near Hythe, Kent, where he amuses keepers and visitors.

A park spokeswoman said: "He is not the first gorilla ever to walk like this but he seems to do it much better than others.

"He seems to get up and wander off, and he can pick up quite a bit of speed once he gets going.

"He's definitely a big attraction here."

Weighing 220kg, Ambam is Port Lympne's biggest gorilla and he was born at the park's sister site, Howletts, in 1990.

He was hand-raised for a few months when he was a year old after falling ill, meaning he had to be taken away from his mother Shumba as a last resort.

Gorilla keeper Phil Ridges said his walking technique gives him certain advantages over his fellow apes at the park.

He said: "We think he might use it to get a height advantage to look over the wall when keepers come to feed him and standing up can also help him in looking for food generally in his enclosure as it gives him a better vantage point.

"Ambam can also carry a lot more food if he stands and uses both hands and walking on two feet also means he doesn't get his hands wet when it is raining."

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