Even gorillas at the zoo try to square up with Shaquille O’Neal, NBA’s former ‘Big Man.’
In a recent episode of “The Big Podcast with Shaq,” the former basketball star shared his experience every time he comes across a great ape at the zoo. The discussion initially started from his contemplation about growing his gray hair out. He joked that he would be more like a “silverback” gorilla in his comedic fashion than a “silver fox.”
O’Neal explained that gorillas “go crazy” when he visits the zoos.
“True story,” O’Neil began.
“I’ve been to every zoo in the world, and every time I go to the gorilla section, they look at me like, ‘Hey man, where your fur at?’ For real. For real. That’s how they look at me. They also look at me like, ‘What am I doing in here and you out there?’ And they always go crazy when they see me.”
O’Neal wanted to confirm his story for his guests, so he called wildlife expert and photographer Ron Magill, the communications director for Miami-Dade Zoological Park and Gardens at Zoo Miami. During the call, Magill not only validated the Big Man’s story, but he went on to explain that the male gorillas are especially intimidated by him.
The gorilla “gets intimated, and he looks at Shaq and thinks that Shaq is going to take away his girls, and he gets tight-lipped and tries to stand up and make himself look as big as possible,” Magill said. “But at the end of the day, he backs off. He knows who’s boss.”
With 42 episodes and counting, “The Big Podcast with Shaq” features Nischelle Turner and Spice Adams as they join O’Neal every week to discuss everything from music and sports to trending topics in pop culture. You can listen on Apple Podcasts.
Listen to the full episode of “The Big Zookeeper” below: