Poor Patrick. The Western lowland gorilla was born in 1990 at the the Bronx Zoo, but due to maternal neglect was relocated to the Toronto Zoo before his first birthday to be hand-raised with another male the same age. When they turned 5, both were moved to the Dallas Zoo, which has tried for years to create social relationships for the big guy, with little success. Two separate female groups were introduced to him, but his responses ranged from indifference to aggression.
Patrick has legions of human fans; he interacts playfully with zoo attendees, and is even known to sit close to the habitat windows, tapping on the glass and gesturing at visitor’s painted toenails. But the zoo – which describes him as “funny, smart, and charming” — has been unable to socialize him with other gorillas, especially female gorillas, whom he nips at and “exerts dominance” over. And thus, the zoo made the difficult decision to relocate him to the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in Columbia, S.C., where he will have his own enclosure.
“It's the best thing for him. Due to maternal neglect, Patrick was hand-raised, so he hasn’t socialized well with other gorillas and prefers his own company. We’ve tried for years to create social relationships for Patrick, with little success,” notes the zoo’s website. “Two separate female groups were introduced to him, but he was indifferent and the relationships never progressed to a stable social grouping. At Riverbanks, he will continue to live alone, but in close proximity to other gorillas.”
ABC reports on the story in the video below:
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