Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Gorilla Goes Global

When you’re reporting news you never know what kind of an impact a story is going to have. Four or five days a week I make it down to the Fond du Lac Police Department to go through reports and find out what’s going on. One such day I found a few nuggets and as an aside Captain Steve Klein said, “By the way we had someone who dressed up in a gorilla suit and tried to steal a banana from a display at a couple of Kwik-Trips in town.”

Okay I had to ask, “Are you kidding?” Nope! Well I broke out my digital recorder and asked him more. When I was done I said, “You know Steve this is the kind of story that will make it all over.” I wrote up a couple versions and sent out copies to a half dozen radio stations, the Wisconsin Radio Network and the Associated Press.

The next day the Fond du Lac Reporter picked it up and their story garnered more interest. Following up on our original story I found out a person donning a gorilla suit wasn’t successful the first day, but returned to get about a 3-foot Styrofoam banana from a Kwik Trip a second day. I originally planned to use the story as a “kicker.” That’s a story with some feature appeal that you use towards the end of a newscast.

Today I asked Captain Klein how much interest he got after we initially ran the story. He says there were a number of media outlets from around the state and country that called. He also heard from the BBC in London, which wanted an interview for a global broadcast and truTV formerly Court TV. It ended up on YouTube and a number of Internet blog sites.

By the way the pseudo-primate is still at large. I’m actually waiting for the furry felon to get caught because although it’s a joke right now, I want to know the punch line. Was it a college prank? A cry for attention? A dare or something done after too many beers and too little thought? By the way the banana was only worth about $50 so if the fast and furry person is caught they more than likely are facing a misdemeanor charge.

P.S. I’ve joined the Twitter craze. You can find me at

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