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Marcellin berates 'the white man'


Paul du Chaillu hides the gorilla's penis
Redmond O'Hanlon Writer
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Well, it's astonishing. Du Chaillu gorillas, you know, these huge mammals. They weren't discovered until 1871, by Du Chaillu. And this here, let me show you, this is a wonderful book. Everybody laughs at him, but I love it. This is the very first etching, illustration, of a gorilla. 1871. It's just so recent. And the okapi and so on, even more recent, their discovery. It's the most wonderful place, if you can take the pressure. But look, you see, the gorilla's penises were always hidden. Now Du Chaillu cut them off, because he knew that his bestseller would have to have a gorilla bending a rifle in half, and these terrifying beasts that carried women off. It's the beginning of King Kong. And rape them in the most pleasurable way behind a bush and up the tree and, you know, the gorilla's got one arm around the girl, woof.

And with this massive penis. The fact is that a gorilla's penis is about that long. They are tiny. That's why Du Chaillu cut them off, because he thought no one will believe him when he said how frightening and vicious and what a beast the gorilla was. Well, actually, the gorilla's really peaceful, and that goes with the size of his penis, and he lives with his wives until he's thrown out when he's too old, as a silverback. And yes, the gorilla does charge and beats its chest at you. But you have to forgive Du Chaillu for not realising that he would actually stop ten yards away. How was he to know? And yes, you do hear stories about when you run away, the gorilla bites a man's calves out of his legs. And, you know, thinking of King Kong and so on, why would he do that? Because you have got to imagine him coming after you on two legs. Well, no, he's scooting along the ground at tremendous speed. And he'll only do that if you've wounded him. They are really sweeties, sweethearts. A bit like the Babinga, the pygmies. You know, there's absolutely no record of a pygmy, any kind, killing anybody, except in direct revenge for some cruel Bantu killing or whatever, and they always make sure they get just the bloke who killed the pygmy. Anyway, gorillas. Wonderful, but naughty Du Chaillu, cutting off their penises.

British author Redmond O’Hanlon writes about his journeys into some of the wildest places in the world. His travels have taken him into the jungles of the Congo and the Amazon, he has faced some of the toughest tribes alive today, and has sailed in the hurricane season on a trawler in the North Atlantic. In all of this, he explores the extremes of human existence with passion, wit and erudition.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is a London-based television producer and director who has made a number of documentary films for BBC TV, Channel 4 and PBS.

Tags: 1871, King Kong, Paul du Chaillu

Duration: 3 minutes, 7 seconds

Date story recorded: July - September 2008

Date story went live: 11 August 2009