Published on March 12th, 2012 | by Steven Hodson0
Samantha The Elderly Gorilla Gets A Pet Rabbit [Video]
Samantha, a 47-year-old western lowland gorilla, spent her days alone after her partner Rudy passed away in 2005 and zoo officials at the Erie Zoo felt that she needed some companionship.
Enter one little rabbit by the name of Panda.
Due to her age it was felt that she was too old and fragile to be paired with another gorilla but like humans Samantha needed a friend and they believed that Panda would be the perfect type of companion for her since he was so small and non-threatening.
The process of bringing the two together was done slowly with Panda being moved into an area close to Samantha’s night quarters. Then for a short period of time Panda was held up Samantha for her to smell and inspect after wwhich the rabbit was let into the exhibit by himself to get the lay of the land so to speak.
Finally Samantha was allowed back into the exhibit and as hoped the two got along well together and Scott Mitchell, CEO of the zoo remembers a couple of incidents shortly after the two were placed together that show how well they were getting along.
[….] shortly after the two were introduced when Panda hopped up to Samantha’s beloved Baby, a stuffed toy gorilla. Know this: No one messes with Baby. Samantha “pushed the baby out of the way so Panda could go by,” Mitchell said.
Another time, she scratched underneath Panda’s chin. She shares her food. She reaches down to touch Panda, gently. “It was amazing to see,” Mitchell said. “And the reaction from the public has been amazing, too. People are intrigued by it. They like the fact that she has a companion.” Samantha has never been aggressive toward Panda.
Here is a video of the unlikely friends