Every year, Gorilla FC volunteers and captains vote on the Gorilla FC Player of the Year. The award is called the Big John award, which is named after a lowlands gorilla named Big John who perished in a fire at the Philadelphia zoo. The award which is a cast of Big John’s face was started in 2011, and is now a fixture at our End of the Year Party. Come to find out who won it this year:
The casting comes from Philadelphia Zoo which had the fire back in 1995. Big John was among 23 endangered animals killed in the fire and the zoo used his likeness to raise funds to help with the preservation and growth of the primate facilities for Lowland Gorillas. Portions of the casting cost go towards supporting Lowland Gorillas! Below is a longer description of Big John’s story!
Big John Award winners:
2011 Kasey Keller see video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QEgZvQKr3U&feature=player_embedded
2012 Michael Gspurning See video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8Bz_blkhKM
In the early morning of December 24, 1995, a fire in the World of Primates building killed 23 animals, including a family group of six lowland gorillas, a family group of three orangutans , four white-handed gibbons, and ten lemurs (two ruffed, six ringtail, and two mongoose) All were members of endangered species. The animals died in their sleep from smoke inhalation (carbon-monoxide poisoning); none were burned. In short – they never knew what happened, just passed away in their sleep.