‘Mr. Gorilla’ crawls through London Marathon for charity

Tom Harrison, a 41-year-old police officer also known as "Mr. Gorilla," crawled the entire London Marathon route to raise funds for The Gorilla Organization. His efforts brought in 26,000 pounds.Photo courtesy of Mr. Gorilla/Twitter

April 29 (UPI) — A British man dressed in a gorilla costume raised more than 20,000 pounds for an animal charity by crawling the London Marathon route.

Tom Harrison, who adopted the monicker “Mr. Gorilla,” completed the 26.2 mile route on Saturday after crawling on his hands and knees for six-and-a-half days to raise 26,000 pounds ($33,675) for The Gorilla Organization.

Beginning April 22, Harrison crawled along the streets of London in his gorilla suit for 10 to 12 hours a day until he reached the finish line.

“It’s kind of turned into a bit like going to work in that I get up in the morning don my gorilla outfit, go to the place I left off the day before and start crawling again, chatting to people along the way and doing some interviews,” Harrison, a 41-year-old police officer said. “I’d try to do my four miles a day and then go home sweaty and tired at the end of it so it’s been a bizarre week.”

Harrison’s journey ended at Buckingham palace where conservationist Bill Oddie presented him with a medal as he joined his two sons Nicholas, 6, and Alex, 4, who were also dressed as gorillas.

His original plan was to raise 1,500 pounds ($2,000) for the group dedicated to protecting endangered gorillas in their native habitat, but news of his efforts spread and he raised more than 10 times his original goal.

“The fact it went global has been completely unexpected, but brilliant,” Harrison said.

Jillian Miller, executive director of the gorilla group described Harrison’s effort as “incredible.”

“He’s now officially our highest fundraiser ever,” she said.

With the unique fundraiser complete, Harrison said he was “tired and happy” — and thankful to have the opportunity to get out of the gorilla suit.

“I’ll be glad to get the costume washed as it’s getting a little bit fruity,” he said. “I think I’ve started to smell a bit like a gorilla.”


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