Meet Patrick, a 23-year-old single male Texan residing in Dallas, who is also a 430-pound Western lowland gorilla that was recently mistaken for hating women (gorilla women in particular). You see, a lot of media reports (MailOnline, E!, Fox News, ABC) picked up on the sensationalism that Patrick was a sexist ape, when really, he just prefers to be alone, indifferent to other gorillas. The media went bananas with the story (a sexist gorilla?), but The Dallas Zoo’s Official Facebook page said otherwise:
Yes, Patrick will be moving out of his humble abode at Dallas Zoo where he’s been living for 18 years. The decision for his move had been years in the making, with “gorilla experts” all over the United States advising on the best choice of action for Patrick. He will be sent over to the Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens in Columbia, South Carolina.
It also started back in April 13th, 1990 at the Bronx Zoo in New York, where little baby Patrick was born and abandoned by his mama. From there, he was transferred to the Toronto Zoo, where he was hand-raised with another male ape companion around the same age. As little innocent and motherless Patrick grew, he became less and less social with other apes.
According to the Patrick’s Departure Q&A on the Dallas Zoo Facebook page, Patrick is leaving Dallas “due to maternal neglect” and because he was “hand raised”.
“He hasn’t socialized well with gorillas and prefers his own company. We’ve tried for years to create social relationships for Patrick, with little success. 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.”
The move is not meant to punish Patrick, but instead, is the best choice of action that will serve to benefit him and his solitary life style. “It’s not punitive in any way.”
The Dallas Zoo’s Facebook page announced on September 23rd that Patrick will have a going away party on September 28th through 29th. The celebration is titled “We’ll Miss Ya, Patrick!”, and zoo admission is only $5 for everyone three and older. There will be mini cupcakes.
(Photos courtesy of The Dallas Zoo’s Facebook page)