An amazing silverback gorilla has been caught delicately patting an itty bitty groundhog during feeding time at the Detroit Zoo.
Considering how cute groundhogs can be, we don’t blame him for pausing for some pats. The gorilla appeared to be having a great time and goofing off. In the wild, gorillas’ feelings are communicated through various things such as body language, vocalization, and facial expressions. And while young, they can be likened to children monkeying around or horse playing given that they enjoy rolling around, doing somersaults, and playing tag.
The silverback, named Kongo, is seen cautiously lowering his arm to make contact with his tiny fuzzy side-kick and afterward as he grabs the groundhog’s attention, he quickly moves his hand away. He later again strokes the highest point of the groundhog’s head before leisurely turning his back.
The video uploaded to Facebook united animal lovers from all around, with many in awe over the super-sweet moment.
One individual expressed: “Aww that’s so beautiful and I love our zoo, especially the silverback gorilla. He really is so peaceful and gentle and has an amazing personality. I got a great shot of him a few weekends ago!”
While another commented, saying: “It’s so funny because that little groundhog would run down into its den if a human tried that!!” And a third person commented: “We saw them playing chase at the Walk for Wishes!” while another wrote: “life lesson: sometimes you just need to stop and pet the groundhog.”
This elevating piece of news follows another drive to safeguard Grauer’s gorillas in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, as per ABC News. Last month, the nonprofit Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund reported that more Grauer’s gorillas would land in Congo, where they’d fall under a community-protection initiative.
Community protection intuitively comes after 60% of fundamentally imperiled species were cleared out in the last twenty years, leaving an expected 3,800 to 6,800 Eastern Lowland gorillas. However, back in 2016, a piece of regulation presented in the Congo Parliament permitted communities to apply for privileges to deal with their traditional lands.
The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund likewise helped eastern Congo communities in looking for outside help, assisting with dealing with the land to protect gorilla habitats and nests.
Primatologist and head of conservation at the North Carolina Zoo Richard Bergl said of the new program: “Grauer’s gorillas exist exclusively in a country that has suffered really extreme degrees of instability for decades. When there is violence happening, it’s very challenging to maintain the infrastructure of a national park,” he continued. “But the communities will be there regardless of political instability. If you have their support, you have a chance.”
This is pretty cute, and quite rare giving that the gorillas are several times larger than the groundhog, despite this, the interaction wasn’t violence. Instead it was some cute head-pats. This is probably an interaction where neither the gorilla or the squirrel will soon forget. What’s that? Oh, sorry – I nearly forgot to note that groundhogs are actually considered to be a species of the squirrel family, and what’s more – they’re the largest of them all!
Additionally, they’re also talented climbers like gorillas; however, unlike the gorillas, they can also swim – which gives them an advantage when escaping less skilled predators. They are also called woodchucks, land-beavers, or whistle-pigs – quite the colorful arrangement of names. An enormous friendly giant petting an adorable groundhog makes for one mega-cute event.