Touching Reunion of Two Hugging Gorillas After Three Years Separation
Kesho the gorilla was separated from his brother Alf after being selected to participate in a breeding program.
When the brothers were reunited at Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire, they acted as if they had never been apart.
Bros don’t always jump on, as some stressed-out parents know all too well.
When these two gorillas were reunited for the first time in nearly three years, they hugged as if they had never been apart.
Kesho and his younger brother Alf quickly recognized each other as they settled into a brand-new 3 million gorilla enclosure at Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire.
Kesho, 13, and Alf, 9, were raised in captivity together, but they were separated in 2010 when the senior brother or sister was sent to London Zoo as part of a breeding program.
Kesho was returned after it was discovered that he was sterile, but his time spent in the women’s business caused his appearance to change dramatically.
His increased testosterone levels gave him a silverback, his weight increased by 200 pounds, and his neck and head also grew in size.
Alf, on the other hand, was unconcerned about these changes.
Throughout the reunion, he exchanged handshakes and laughed with his senior sibling.
Kesho and Alf shake hands for the first time in years after being reunited.
‘We weren’t entirely sure that the bros would even recognize each other, but the moment they met, you might simply see the recognition in their eyes,’ said Mark Tye, head gorilla keeper at Longleat.
‘They were touching each other with the cage that temporarily separated them, and there were no aggressive acts.’
‘We put them together 24 hours later, and it was as if they had never been apart.’
‘They were very animated, and there was a lot of rough and tumble on the floor, but not in a hostile way.’
That kind of childlike behavior in a silverback is quite unusual.’
Mr Tye claimed that Kesho was very forgiving and that the gorillas had formed a “truly limited bond.”
According to the safari park’s team, the gorillas are acting as if they have never been apart.
The siblings were raised together at Dublin Zoo, but they became estranged when Kesho was chosen for a reproducing program.
‘Had they been two complete strangers, there would have been a lot of in-person conflict, as well as some battling and screaming,’ he added.
‘However, Kesho and Alf were content to turn their backs on each other, which represents trust.’
It’s great for Alf to have an older brother to look up to and learn from, and Kesho seems to enjoy being the center of attention.
‘It was very pleasing to see.’
The siblings were born at Dublin Zoo but split up when Kesho moved to London with three other females.
Longleat has created a ‘bachelor team’ of gorillas because there are far too many males in the European Organization of Zoos and Aquaria reproducing programs.