Sketch of Mok the gorilla

This is the one and only pencil sketch I know of in the Natural Science collection at Leeds Museums and Galleries. This is an illustration of Mok – a gorilla who lived at London Zoo in the 1930s.

His skeleton is in store at Leeds Discovery Centre and his skin (mounted by a taxidermist) is on display at Leeds City Museum.

I like the connection this sketch gives us to Mok while he was alive: it’s unusual to have an image of a living specimen from the collection. This particular drawing makes me wonder about his life in the zoo – is he bored, dreaming of Africa or just watching the world go by?

This was sketched by Stuart Tresilian, a regular visitor to London Zoo. He used its inhabitants as references for his drawings illustrating Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Animal Stories’ and ‘All the Mowgli Stories’.


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