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The video of Jambo looking over Levan Merritt at the Jersey Zoo was voted number one by the Channel Island public as the “Shot that shook the Island.” More here

“The Gentle Giant” Headlines around the world

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The story of Jambo hit the headlines all around the world. Jambo was nicknamed “The Gentle Giant”. Pictures are still being shown today more than 20 years on. I believe the reason for this is because the video is unique. It turned out to be not just a story about a gentle gorilla looking after an injured boy, amazing as this is. Gorilla experts were fascinated by what happened. They gathered great information about how the animals reacted to the situation. No longer was the gorilla regarded as the aggressive “King Kong.” The video also highlighted the bravery of the rescue services and the Zoo keepers’ story. There was also my story as the amateur cameraman, and how I managed to be in the right place at the right time.

Although it was scary at the time, we were all very happy to know that Levan recovered fully from his injuries. The alternative outcome could have been so much worse. Later Jersey Zoo added warning signs and metal spikes to the top of the enclosure wall to discourage anyone from standing on them. If you do visit the Jersey Zoo (which is one of the finest in the world) you will find that the zoo guides still refer to Jambo and what happened back in 1986.

Levan being cared for by his parents in hospial a couple of weeks after the accident.

Lee and Gerald Durrell appeared on a UK talk show explaining how gentle Jambo was to the boy.

The video was shown all around the World on every TV station.

copyright Brian Le lion 2012

Archive footage from Channel Television

The actual video of the event runs for more than 30 minutes in total. If you would like more information about what happened on that day then please feel free to contact me. I will be happy to help. If you are looking to use all or part of the original video in a television production, then please contact the Channel Television direct. Their archive department will be happy to help with your inquiries. Here you can also purchase a copy of the DVD Jambo the Gentle Giant.

The years have rolled by quite quickly since the all this happened. Sadly I never achieved my dream of becoming a News Cameraman, but I did achieve my main ambition of becoming a Graphic Artist and Website Designer.

One thing to think about before you go. Gorillas are being hunted and poached for their meat, and driven out of their environment at this precise moment in time.

If this continues Gorillas could be extinct within 10 years. That is no time at all and is a frightening thought considering it has been more thsn 20 years since I video taped Jambo!

I would highly recommend a visit Jersey Zoo. to see these marvelous animals.

Many thanks for visiting.

Brian Le Lion

Carry your camera with you at all times!

My advice to anyone is “You never know what is going to happen be prepared and carry your camera with you at all times. You never know what major event you might capture” This is made much easier today now you can get video cameras that can fit in your pocket!