Animals

A Woman Bought This Gorilla, But Nobody Expected She Would Do This

Almost 100 years ago, the villagers of the small town of Uley in England lived with a very strange neighbor.

John Daniel was a lowland gorilla who had been born in Gabon. He was caught by French soldiers and eventually sold in a London department story. His new owners paid more than $25,000 in today's money for him, but he wasn't just an expensive pet.

John's adopted "mother" was a woman name Alice Cunningham who loved to spoil him. John had his own room and bed, and he lived almost like any other child in the village.

The local children would go on walks with John, or carry him around in a wheelbarrow. He even had chores just like they did. Alice trained John to make his own bed and help wash the dishes. He even learned to use the toilet - and to turn the light on when he did, so he wouldn't make a mess.

When John wasn't playing with kids he would wander around town, eating the roses from neighbors' gardens. He loved to drink cider, and he knew which houses would pour him a mug of it if he knocked on the door. Another of John's favorite pastimes was watching the local cobbler make shoes, which he would do for hours.

Sometimes, Alice would even take him to a fancy dinner party in the city, where he would sip tea with the wealthy guests.

All of these stories were unearthed by a local historian named Margaret Groom, who found a stash of old photos of John and wrote about him for her latest book.

Sadly, when John grew too big to look after, Alice was forced to sell him to an American businessman. She thought he would be sent to a animal sanctuary in Florida, but instead he was sold to the Barnum and Bailey circus in New York.

John became sick right away, and his new owners sent Alice a letter telling her about his condition. She traveled across the ocean to see him, but he died of pneumonia before she made it. Incredibly, this wasn't the end of John Daniel's weird story.

His body was sold to the American Museum of Natural History, and to this day you can still see him on display in New York. Until recently, people from nearby towns could still remember wandering around with John and getting into trouble when they were young.

This story proves that animals and people aren't as different as we think they are!

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