A gorilla who has lived at the Dallas Zoo for the past 18 years is being moved to a South Carolina facility, where he can receive one-on-one care for his behavioral problems, and the zoo says they’re putting a viral star in his place.
Patrick, a 430-pound Western lowland gorilla, first came to Dallas in 1995 after being abandoned by his mother at the Bronx Zoo. Because he was raised with and around humans his entire life, he is a sweet-natured beast around people and his handlers say he’s very smart; however, he won’t tolerate female gorillas and refuses to socialize. After he became aggressive with one female, zoo officials made the decision to move him.
“It’s not like we haven’t tried, he’s been here for 18 years,” said Laurie Holloway, a spokesperson for the zoo.
Patrick seemed to have found a friend in fellow male Jabari, but after he was shot and killed during a violent escape in 2004, Patrick didn’t seem to care for being social anymore. He’ll be moved to the Riverbanks Zoo in South Carolina, and officials there say he’ll be separated from the other gorillas there–who are all males–but he’ll be able to see them. Eventually, he may be moved into a large wooded area to live with them provided his therapy goes well.
Meanwhile, the Dallas Zoo is preparing for Patrick’s replacement, Zola, who became a viral star on the web after a video was posted showing him breakdancing.