Misundertood Gorilla Being Booted From Dallas ZooBy: Mike Fossum - September 23, 2013
Patrick, a 23-year-old Western lowland gorilla, is being kicked out of the Dallas Zoo for anti-social behavior. The 430-pound silverback bachelor, known for his geniality while among visitors and zoo staff, has shown little interest in forming any meaningful bonds with his gorilla contemporaries, during his 18-year stint in Dallas. According to a statement issued by Dallas Zoo staff, Patrick will be transferred to the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in Columbia, S.C., where he’ll be able to enjoy more solitude.
Head Dallas Zoo veterinarian Dr. Lynn Kramer states, “It’s become clear that he prefers to live a solitary life. This move will allow Patrick to continue to thrive while creating an opportunity for our four remaining males to form a cohesive bachelor group.”
The western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) is a subspecies of the “plain” western gorilla (Gorilla gorilla) that lives in forests and lowland swamps in central Africa, in countries including Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. Western lowland gorillas are the ones usually seen in zoos. Gorillas live in family groups consisting of one dominant male silverback, 5 to 7 adult females, some children and adolescents, and at times a few non-dominant males. Gorillas reproduce slowly – roughly one baby gorilla every 5 years. Patrick got the boot mainly because he showed little interest in the lady gorillas, and his departure would give the remaining 4 males a chance to form a tighter bachelor posse.
Still, Patrick is popular with the patrons of the zoo, and is very intelligent and adept at using hand tools, according to Dr. Kramer. A two-day going away party is scheduled at the Dallas Zoo over the coming weekend, though no set transfer date has been established. Upon Patrick’s departure, six gorillas will be left at the zoo.
In other gorilla news, the recently-deceased “Snowflake” from Barcelona has been found to have had albinism due to his parents being uncle and niece.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.