There’s lots of talk these days about robots taking over many functions from humans. But bit also know of a recent case where an animatronic animal stood in for the real thing — a robotic mountain gorilla the Uganda Tourism Board brought along to the Destinations Holiday & Travel Show in London.
“Bakwate” was a huge hit with both visitors to the show and the London press, coverage articles in several newspapers and local television news. He also made a surprise appearance in Trafalgar Square, both frightening and delighting tourists in front of the National Gallery.
Perhaps even more than human spokespeople, Bakwate emphasized the plight of mountain gorillas in the wild and sparked interest in visiting Uganda’s Bwidini Impenetrable Forest on gorilla treks.
One of the programs highlighted at the London show was the rare opportunity to spend a full day with researchers and conservationists as they undertake the tracking and gentle habituation of a new gorilla family. The Dr Gladys Intimate Gorilla Experience is one of the special interest trips offered by Adventure Consults, the Uganda-based safari company that specializes in wildlife experiences in the Pearl of Africa.