Some time ago, at Brookfields Zoo in Chicago, Illinois, USA, a serious accident occurred. Apparently a 3-year-old boy climbed a fence surrounding the gorilla enclosure but then fell over 20 feet onto a concrete surface. He was injured and knocked unconscious.
After several gorillas approached the boy, there was concern that although some gorillas were curious, others were acting more aggressively. But one of the female gorillas called Binti Jua – herself a mother with her infant on her back – stepped in to rescue the boy. She tenderly picked him up and carried him quite some distance in the enclosure to a door where the zoo staff could easily reach the boy and bring him to medical assistance. The boy completely recovered from this ordeal which left him with a broken hand and a gash to his head.
I admire this rescue effort but I am not surprised at Binti Jua’s kind action. This shows the natural response from animals, whose first reaction is often to show empathy and support to vulnerable humans.
I routinely see the horses offer this assistance and help to the human clients who come along for equine-facilitated sessions with me.
Animal magic in front of our very eyes. Wonderful stuff.