When Canadian singer and songwriter Michael Bublé visited a zoo near Melbourne, Australia, this month, he treated some of his superfans to a private concert.
During his performance, Ganyeka, Yakini and Motaba, a trio of silverback gorillas that inhabit the Werribee Open Range Zoo, exhibited calm behavior as they listened to Bublé’s baritone voice.
Zookeeper Ben Gulli says he often plays Bublé's 2011 Christmas album for the animals all yearlong and has noticed their appreciation for the famous pop singer.
“When we play Michael Bublé’s CDs, the boys will instantly start pleasure grumbling and sit nice and calm and relaxed.”
“When we play Michael Bublé’s CDs, the boys will instantly start pleasure grumbling and sit nice and calm and relaxed,” Gulli said in a video from the Werribee Open Range Zoo. “Our theory is it’s the beautiful low tones that he sings with kind of mimics their pleasure grumble. And they’ve even been shown to hum little food songs when they eat, and we think [Bublé] must really resonate with that sound.”
Bublé, who is currently on tour, has sold more than 60 million albums worldwide, according to his website.
For the zoo visit, Bublé adapted the lyrics of traditional holiday tunes including, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” to fit the Australian summer. “I’ll be home for summer, you can plan on me,” Bublé sang. He also threw in some references to the gorillas themselves: “Please have sun and ape-y fun and presents, lots of presents, under the tree.”
But Bublé's rendition of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” is the primates' favorite, in general, the zookeeper said.
The whole experience came as a pleasant surprise for Bublé — one of the gorillas even appeared to turn around to focus on him at one point: “Apparently when they go to bed at night, sometimes they play them my Christmas music and so I was singing to them and I had no idea what would happen, and it was amazing. The reaction was amazing.”