Americana: Prime-Time Primate

Twenty-year-old Willie B. is a diehard TV addict. He hates news and talk shows, but he loves football and gets so excited over food commercials that he sometimes charges at the set, waving a fist. Says a friend: "He's like a little child."

Willie B. is a 450-lb. gorilla at the Atlanta Zoo. In December a Tennessee TV dealer heard about Willie B.'s lonely life as the zoo's only gorilla and gave him a TV set. Then, last week, someone stole the set mounted outside the cage.

Zookeepers feared that Willie B. might lapse into a severe depression. But within a few days,...

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