Self-Proclaimed Wizard Banned from Australian Zoo for Antagonizing Gorillas
Andrew Wright had a long history of trying to heal animals with energy at the zoo
Continuing last week’s trend of “ Foolish People Irritating Large Animals,” a self-proclaimed wizard from Christchurch, New Zealand, has been banned from Orana Wildlife park for enraging one of its gorillas.
Andrew Wright, an “energy healer” whose work can be seen at the top of this post, was apparently chanting and beating his chest at the zoo’s largest gorilla, angering the animal so much that it charged the glass at the front of its enclosure to get at him.
The animal’s keeper, Rob Clifford, told New Zealand’s 3 News that he warned Wright about his actions, but the man claimed his behavior was well-received by the animals.
“Their perception is, ‘It’s great, the gorilla high-fived me’ [when it slaps] the glass,” Clifford said. “[Or] ‘the gorilla played tag with me,’ which was a shoulder-charge to the glass. It’s an uneducated view on what actually happened.”
3 News also quotes “Christchurch’s most well-known wizard” – a local celebrity referred to simply as “the Wizard” – who derided Wright’s behavior.
“We don’t normally go out and beat our chests in front of gorilla cages,” The Wizard says. “It’s not the normal behavior of wizards. You wouldn’t get merit points for that.”
Wright was apparently a frequent visitor to the park, where he frequently chanted and “healed” animals with energy. Staff recalled to Stuff one occasion when they had to ask him to put his Tibetan bells away during a visit, because they were making the cheetahs nervous.