Friendship
The reaction these two gorilla brothers have after being separated for three years is gold
D.G. Sciortino
07.11.22

They say that an elephant never forgets.

But apparently, neither do gorillas when it comes to the gorillas and people they love.

A study by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and and Exeter’s Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour found that gorillas “remember old friends and are friendly to each other even after a decade of separation,” according to Yahoo.

That must be why gorilla brothers Kesho, 13, and Alf, 9, were overwhelmed with joy when they were reunited after being separated for almost three years.

Kesho was separated from Alf and taken to be a part of the London Zoo’s breeding program.

But Kesho was deemed to be infertile and was eventually allowed to go back to living with his brother.

Kesho and Alf were reunited at the Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire, England.

They were sent to live in the park’s $5 million gorilla enclosure where male gorillas lived since there were too many males in the breeding program.

“They were touching each other through the cage that temporarily separated them,” Longleat zookeeper Mark Tye told UK’s Daily Mail. “The keepers from Dublin weren’t entirely sure the brothers would even know each other, but the moment they met you could just see the recognition in their eyes. We put them together 24 hours later and it was like they had never been apart.”

A video was captured when the two gorillas were let out of their enclosures to embrace each other for the first time in years.

Kesho and Alf ran toward each other when they first saw one another.

“The way they recognized each other is just like two family members joining together again. It’s really strange and really wonderful to see,” Sarah Keefe of Longleat Safari & Adventure Park told ABC News.

You could see one of them drop their jaws in joy.

They immediately started tickling and hugging one another.

After some shoulder slaps and lovey-dovey stuff, it was straight to some brotherly roughhousing.

“They were very animated and there was a lot of rough and tumble on the floor, but not in an aggressive way,” he said. “It is quite unusual to see that sort of childlike behavior in a silverback.”

After Kesho and Alf’s reunion, the two gorilla brothers were reunited with another sibling.

Their 6-year-old brother Evindi.

While that reunion wasn’t caught on video, the video of Kensho and Alf’s reunion was viewed more than 3.3 million times on ABC News’ YouTube channel.

“Wow, these brothers look totally different. Look at it smiling! So happy! I hope they got to stay together!” said one YouTube commenter.

Many said they were sad to see them separated in the first place.

“It’s sad that we keep these animals, so similar to us and with such complex emotions, captive in zoos but also separate from each other. And then we are suddenly fascinated by the fact that they recognize each other,” said another commenter.

“I know zoos want animals, however, it is sad that families are separated from one another. How lovely to see these two brothers reunited,” a third commenter explained.

Watch Kensho and Alf’s adorable reunion in the video below.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By D.G. Sciortino
hi@sbly.com
D.G. is a contributing writer in Shareably. She's based in Connecticut and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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