Some gorillas, like people, just don't play well with others.
That was the case for Patrick, the 23-year-old, 430-pound Western lowland gorilla at the Dallas Zoo.
He's apparently pretty sexist, nipping and sneering at the female gorillas he should normally be mating with.
He even went as far as to bite one of the ladies!!
Sadly, Patrick is a sweetheart towards people, and a real staff favorite, but he's gotta go because Dallas just isn't the place for him.
He's going to move to Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens in Columbia, S.C. where his behavioral issues can be better handled.
• Patrick isn’t violent. He is a dominant silverback, and in the wild, such animals establish dominance regularly. This is natural behavior. He loves interacting with his keepers and our guests, as the many stories show, and often chooses to remain near the windows of his habitat instead of retreating into the large wooded areas.
• He certainly isn’t “misogynistic” or “sexist.” These are human psychological behaviors and shouldn’t be attributed to gorillas. He has not socialized with either males or females over the years. We don’t know why. He was hand-raised by humans after his mother neglected him, but we will never know why he prefers solitude.
• He isn’t being “evicted” or “kicked to the curb,” and we’re not “throwing in the towel.” We care deeply about him; he’s been beloved at the Dallas Zoo for 18 years. This move has been carefully considered by gorilla experts nationwide for a very long time and is based in the hope that he will find a social group he's comfortable with. We also have six other gorillas to care for, and must take their needs into account.
• Patrick hasn’t been in “therapy” at the Dallas Zoo, and won’t when he moves, either. As in past years, he will be given the chance to bond with other gorillas at his new home. We don’t know if he will or not; it’s quite possible that he’ll still prefer his own company. If that happens, Riverbanks Zoo will continue to allow him to live separately.
• These types of moves are made at accredited zoos every day. They are evidence-based, scientific decisions, based on the best interest of the animals, the Species Survival Plans and the institutions.
Aww, that's so sad he's leaving, but at least Patrick should be happier elsewhere on his own.
Thanks for clearing up the rumors!
Hope Patrick enjoys his new home!
[Image via Dallas Zoo.]