Ape Adoption

An orphaned baby gorilla gets adopted by a friendly female ape in Columbus, Ohio.

Dotty the baby gorilla was all alone. Her mom was too sick to care for her. Experts at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium put Dotty in a program that pairs orphaned babies with new moms. While keepers watched, Dotty sat in an "introduction cage" so other gorillas could safely see her through a mesh fence. Pongi the female gorilla sat next to the fence. The two touched tongues—a special gorilla greeting. When the keepers let Pongi into Dotty's cage, Dotty crawled onto Pongi's lap. They've been "family" ever since.

FAMILY FIRST

One day, Dotty seemed to be choking. A human volunteer rushed to help. But Dotty, who had recovered, ran straight to Pongi. “It was like Dotty was saying, 'I found someone better,'" says volunteer Barb Jones.

Gorilla Gorillas are like to eat roots, shoots, fruit, bark, and wild celery! Learn more amazing facts about these amazing creatures in this video from National Geographic Kids.