Mountain Gorilla Deadly Art


Mountain Gorilla

Inspired by his list of Deadly 60 animals, Steve Backshall challenges a team of artists to create some astounding deadly animal art featuring the mountain gorilla.


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Transcript


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I'm Steve Backshall and this is Deadly Art.

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I travel the world, tracking deadly animals.

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In this show, I'm picking 25 of my favourites...

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..and challenging my team of Deadly Artists to recreate a killer moment.

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You'll get to make some art yourself

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and in the final show, my team and I will choose

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which animals will make it into my Deadly Art Gallery.

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This is no ordinary art show, this is Deadly Art.

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On today's Deadly Art,

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I have a close encounter of the primate kind...

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Ooh!

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Haha!

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..my team of artists create art of King Kong proportions...

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You can see how big this guy is going to be!

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..and you can make your own gorilla art at home, too.

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Today's deadly animal is one of our closest relatives,

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sharing about 98% of their DNA with us.

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Despite being the strongest primates in the world,

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they're vegetarians and can be total pussy cats...

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unless they're provoked.

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This is the mountain gorilla.

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For an animal that feeds entirely on vegetation,

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gorillas are one of the most heavily-muscled creatures on Earth.

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Why are they built like wrestlers when they only feed on plants?

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Well, gorillas are fiercely loyal

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and they'll fight to the death to defend their families.

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Time to meet today's artists,

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who are waiting in the Deadly Art studio for their mission.

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I'm Jo. I like using gloss paint, human hair, all sorts of materials.

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But most of all, I like making a mess.

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Hey, I'm Mike. I'm a cartoon artist

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and I like turning my drawings into stencils

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and making them deadly!

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And in just a moment, you'll be joining me in Uganda,

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on my mission to track down some very rare mountain gorillas.

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And this is the killer moment I want Mike and Jo to capture.

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Here are the essential elements I'd like my art team to focus on.

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The arms of adult mountain gorillas are 20% longer than their legs.

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A mature male can spread his arms 2.5 metres wide

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and is said to be as strong as six men.

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That's scary if you're standing near one and he's staring at you.

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On the whole, they're peaceful creatures,

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but they can be fiercely protective if someone threatens their family.

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They'll stop at nothing to defend them.

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Gorillas are primates like us

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and they share many spookily similar traits and mannerisms.

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They're highly intelligent and have human-like emotions,

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including love, fear, hate, jealousy.

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They even laugh when they're tickled!

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Mike and Jo, this is going to be quite a challenge.

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Oh, look at that face! It shows their personality.

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They can get really angry when protecting their families,

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so we have to get that in.

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AND capture their sheer power.

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Yep. To me, that means size. Let's go REALLY big on this one.

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I've got just the thing!

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Jo's delving deep into the crypt at the Deadly Art studio.

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Odd place for pillows. Must have had a scary sleepover.

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Hey!

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These could be fantastic for fingers. Just hope they've been washed.

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Me too. This one will be interesting.

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I start my search for the mountain gorilla

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2,300 metres above sea level.

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But with five hours of trekking ahead of us, it won't be easy.

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Christopher and the other trackers make daily visits up the mountain

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and know each gorilla family and every individual.

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Without their tracking skills, we'd never find our gorillas.

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And without their knowledge and expertise,

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the gorillas would never let us get close.

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It was about 100 years ago...

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that the first...

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outsiders came here and saw mountain gorillas for the first time.

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They brought back stories of these terrifying animals

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that were incredibly strong

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and could rip a man apart with their bare hands,

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which is what inspired the story of King Kong.

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Since then, we've learned an awful lot more about mountain gorillas.

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We've found out that they're peaceful animals that eat...

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well, stuff like this, most of the time.

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That doesn't stop them being formidable creatures.

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While I carry on looking for these elusive characters,

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let's get back to the Deadly Art studio.

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How's our giant gorilla getting on?

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I'm making the gorilla's hands.

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I'm using some wadding to stuff these socks and turn them into fingers.

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You can see that the ankle of the sock works well as the knuckle.

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I'm using a safety pin to attach my socks to this black, furry cushion.

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If you can imagine that this furry cushion is his palm

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and these are his fingers, you can see how big this guy is going to be!

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One of the essential elements of the gorilla is power.

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He is full of muscle and this is going to be his bicep.

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I'm tying these cushions together really tightly to pack them in.

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Jo and Mike's mountain gorilla is going to be large and fearsome.

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Now Mike will show you how to draw one.

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OK. I'm going to show you how to turn this picture of an angry gorilla

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into my Deadly Doodle.

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Going to place my picture down on top of my light box.

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This will help me trace over it.

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If you don't have a light box, you can place your picture on a window

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and use that light to trace over it.

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Now I'm going to put my A3 piece of paper, centred, over my gorilla head.

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All right, this is all about wax crayons.

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You must use a wax crayon and let's start with red.

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Let's colour the angry eyes.

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Now I'll move on to the mouth.

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That is one fierce gorilla!

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I'm tracing over the red bits underneath.

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Make sure you push down nice and hard.

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That's the red done. Now for the white crayon.

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I'll use that to colour in all the parts that are not shadows.

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I'm going to leave all the shadows for later.

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Starting on that big nose of his.

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Add in those deadly teeth.

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OK, that's all the white crayoning done.

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Let's take it off.

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You might be thinking,

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"What is it?"

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That's because we haven't added in the magic ingredient.

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Some black ink.

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Just going to start painting on our page.

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Here's the reason we used that wax crayon earlier.

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This black ink soaks into the parts that don't have the wax crayon on.

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So as you paint, that picture really comes off the page.

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I must say, this is very impressive!

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Ha! And there you have my angry gorilla Deadly Doodle!

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I'm going to give that one a go myself! Back to our big art.

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As you can see, our gorilla is just getting bigger and bigger.

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I've got loads of black fur that I'm covering him in from head to toe

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and just tucking it in.

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Now our gorilla also needs some form,

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so I'm using some black wool to tie the fur on tight

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and create some body shapes.

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We're going to use this bean bag for his stomach...

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..and this bean bag for his head.

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He's going to have a big personality.

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He's going to be huge!

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Meanwhile, back in Uganda, we've found our mountain gorillas.

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(Wow.)

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It feels quite vulnerable to be so close,

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knowing that if he wanted to charge, he'd be on me in a heartbeat.

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Massive.

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Despite the fact that he probably is no taller than I am...

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he would be at least two times my weight and way more muscular.

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He's walking across now.

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You can see that silver saddle back as he goes.

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And just the strength to just brush bushes aside.

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Look at that incredible bulk!

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They are majestic animals.

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'And I'm about to get the fright of my life.'

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Before that, let's join Jo. She's got a great DIY.

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I've taken Mike's doodle from earlier

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and I'm going to show you how to make him into a talking gorilla.

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I took the drawing and glued it to some foam board.

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And the first thing we're going to do is cut out a hole for his mouth.

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Remember, scalpels can be dangerous. Get an adult to help you.

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Just...pop that out.

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Now what we have to do is peel back this mouth,

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off the foam board, taking care not to rip it.

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Take your time with this,

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otherwise you'll have to do the doodle again.

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OK. We're going to take that

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and put double-sided sticky tape on the back of it.

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Now I'm going to stick that on to another piece of foam board.

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This piece has got some black paper stuck to it.

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So we'll just peel that back.

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Put it right in the middle.

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So now, we need to make this grid structure,

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which keeps it all in place and works a bit like a drawer.

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What we've done with that...

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is got some more strips of foam board.

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Before we put that together,

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you need to check that the mouth is in the right position.

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So these are going to go down the sides, like the runners.

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This one is going to go across the back, just to keep it in place.

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Make sure it only sticks to the runners and not middle piece.

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One more, smaller one, which is going to go across the top,

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which stops it all falling out.

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OK. Next, I'm just going to put his mouth up into the closed position.

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I'm taking another piece of foam board, which will be our handle.

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It's a nice, long piece and this goes right up against that guide.

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So there we have it, one talking gorilla.

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Is that deadly enough for you?

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What a fantastic DIY!

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But imagine getting close to these bad boys.

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I got closer than planned.

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We try and keep a respectful distance,

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so we don't disturb the gorillas as they feed.

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Johnny, Johnny!

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Suddenly, a cheeky, confident young male moves menacingly towards us.

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This is the blackback. He's the young male.

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And...

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they can be...

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more of a worry than a silverback, because they have more to prove.

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You can see how easily he pulled that tree down to cover himself.

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People that actually work with gorillas a lot reckon...

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they're ten times stronger than people.

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They've seen them bend iron bars.

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The guides make me stand my ground as he comes in for a closer look.

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Ooh!

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Right. Well that...

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is a blackback gorilla... letting us know who's boss.

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HE CHUCKLES

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Gorillas are aggressive when defending their families

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or when showing off to a film crew.

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Let's get back to Jo and Mike. Their gorilla is better behaved.

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If an essential element for the gorilla is protectiveness,

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our gorilla is going to look angry.

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I have a sock, stuffed with wadding.

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This is going to make his eyebrow,

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which makes a difference to an expression.

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I'm going to put it low down on his face to make him look really cross.

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If our gorilla's looking cross, his mouth will be wide open.

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So for the mouth, I've used this red cushion cover.

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Just going to stuff it down into his face.

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Now if his mouth is wide open, we'll see those big teeth.

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So for the teeth, I've used some wadding.

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Going to shape it into one of those big, sharp canines...

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and stick it in his mouth.

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So, we've got his head, his arms, his legs and his body.

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All we need to do is put it all together.

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And once it's fixed together, Mike and Jo hoist it up.

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Wow! This is definitely the biggest Deadly Art we have ever made.

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The sheer size of it represents the gorilla's awesome power.

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We have covered his personality

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by giving him that angry expression on his face and adding in that hand,

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with those five fingers coming at you!

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He's reaching out, he could be protecting his family,

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which is an essential element.

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-Well done, us!

-Let's hope Steve likes it.

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So it's time for the big reveal.

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Remember, this is the killer moment I challenged my artists to recreate.

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Now let's have a look at the finished piece of art.

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That is a monster!

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This is the biggest piece of work we've ever done on Deadly Art.

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I asked Mike and Jo to capture the gorilla's personality.

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Well, look at its sheer size!

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His eyes look menacing, the teeth are sharp. Big tick there, guys.

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And with his outstretched hand, he's definitely protecting his family.

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Fantastic!

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That's a top Deadly Rating from me

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but will it make it into my Deadly Gallery?

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Maybe. See you next time for more Deadly Art.

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Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

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Email subtitling@bbc.co.uk

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Inspired by his amazing list of Deadly 60 animals, Steve Backshall challenges a team of artists to create some astounding deadly animal art. The subject of this programme is the mountain gorilla.