Man Ignores Warning & Sets Out To Reunite With Gorilla 5 Years After He Raised It
Oct 12, 2023 by apost team
Some stories sound like fairy tales until we encounter them first-hand. From one of Africa’s many jungles, Damian Aspinall, a British conservationist, embarked on a search for a gorilla known as Kwibi, whom he had raised but had not seen for five years.
As told by Aqua Vita Studios, Kwibi was raised by Aspinall back at his home in England at the Howletts Wild Animal Park. However, Aspinall knew that the right thing to do was return Kwibi to his natural habitat. So, he released the gorilla back into the wild in Gabon, West Africa.
Kwibi was 5 years old when Aspinall let him go as part of a conservation program that aimed at introducing gorillas back to the wild.
After five years, Aspinall wanted to see Kwibi again and decided to embark on a mission. However, other conservationists working in the jungles of Gabon told Aspinall that Kwibi didn’t take kindly to humans and had attacked the last two people who had come across him.
But Aspinall was determined to reconnect with Kwibi. He took the necessary precautions as well, considering what the other conservationists had told him.
Aspinall proceeded on his mission to find Kwibi in the massive jungle by boat. He and his team maneuvered down a river as Aspinall called out for Kwibi.
“I was really determined to see him. I got on the boat with my brother and we went up and down the river for several hours. I had this call for the gorillas,” Aspinall said.
As the boat turned a corner, the team spotted Kwibi. The now 10-year-old gorilla had heard Aspinall’s call and came out to the edge of the river to see him. To Aspinall, Kwibi looked magnificent but how would he behave when they finally come face to face?
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Aspinall and his team moved the boat to the banks of the river where they had spotted Kwibi. Aspinall had waited for this reunion for years but didn’t know how the gorilla would react. Before disembarking, he and his team made a plan to throw food in case the gorilla became aggressive. But Aspinall remained hopeful that Kwibi would recognize him.
Aspinall jumped off the boat and was finally able to reunite with Kwibi. As he sat down on the ground, Kwibi came tentatively to him before the two put their heads together. Kwibi made a few low, rumbling growls that indicated to Aspinall that he was okay. They sat opposite each other as Aspinall put a leaf in his mouth, then shared it with Kwibi.
“He looked in my eyes with such intensity and such love, and it was an incredible experience. We just sat there together sort of drunk on each other. He embraced me like a long-lost friend and it was just beautiful,” Aspinall said of their meeting.
Kwibi embraced Aspinall with so much love and soon, other members of Kwibi’s troop came to see him as well. Seeing Kwibi healthy and happy was all he wanted to confirm before going back to the mainland. As the daylight began to dim, it came time for Aspinall and the team to leave, but Kwibi – who was sitting behind Aspinall with his arms around him – would not let him go. They finally had to lure him off with some raisins so Aspinall could get back on the boat.
However, to Aspinall’s amazement, Kwibi followed the boat, and he and his family settled in on the other side of the river directly opposite Aspinall’s camp. The next morning, Aspinall spotted Kwibi again during a morning swim.
How heartening is it to see such a beautiful and loving connection between man and animal? Are you an animal lover too? If so, tell us about your own special connections and pass this along to family and friends, too!