Saturday, October 24, 2009

Assaulted by a Gorilla

In 1930 or 1931 when the Barrett Brothers' father, Hugh Elliott Barrett, was 7 or 8 years old he lived near the zoo in St. Louis, MO. His father, Rev. Newton Barrett, was the minister at the Wagner Memorial Methodist Church (1040 S. Taylor Ave.). One day Hugh went with his father to visit a member of the church who was a keeper at the zoo. They were allowed into the area behind the cage of the baby gorilla Yanna, normally off-limits to the public. The keeper opened the door of the cage and was holding the baby gorilla in his arms, showing him to Hugh and Newton. Newton noticed that Hugh's necktie was loose and pulled on it to tighten the knot. Seeing this Yanna reached over, grabbed Hugh's tie and gave it a good tug.