She’s brave, nurturing and could probably bench nearly 1,000 pounds. What better role model could a young gorilla ask for?
The Dallas Zoo has adopted into their primate family a 17-year-old gorilla named Asha, who zoo officials said will be a “strong female role model for our little ones.”
Asha arrived in Texas by way of the Cincinnati Zoo, after a 30-day quarantine period in between.
“Her former keepers tell us that she is an incredibly smart, socially savvy adult female and a very confident and strong leader,” the Dallas Zoo said Wednesday on Facebook.
The move is welcomed by their current gorilla group, which includes 15-year-old Megan, who just so happens to be Asha’s younger sister. The pair were born at Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas, before being separated during adolescence.
Dallas Zoo handlers assured followers on social media that gorilla re-homing is a “natural” process.
“Changes like this are natural for them and mimic what occurs in the wild,” they explained. “Gorillas often move troops to seek a new dynamic or to start families of their own.”
Now, zookeepers hope that both sisters can be a positive influence on the troop’s younger females, Saambili, 2, and Mbani, 2, as they grow up.
Whether or not the family reunion will be an emotional occasion has yet to be seen.
“It will be interesting to see how they interact! They did live together for several years as youngsters,” they wrote in response to one follower who asked whether the sisters will recognize each other.
“We are in the early stages of introductions, so it’s not clear just yet! But we will be sure to share updates,” the zoo added.
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