Binti-Jua, A Gorilla Heroine
In the summer of 1996, at the Brookfield Zoo in Illinois, a three-year-old boy fell more than 15 feet (4.572 meters) into the Gorilla enclosure. As the crowd watched in horror and the paramedics were called, an unlikely heroine came to the rescue of the unconscious toddler. Binti-Jua, an 8-year-old western lowland gorilla, went up to the boy, picked him up, and cradled him. She then carried him to the door of the enclosure, and kept the other six gorillas from getting too close until the paramedics arrived. The toddler was then taken to the hospital, where he made a full recovery.
Binti was raised and hand-fed by humans at the zoo, then taught and cared for by other female gorillas at the zoo. When she rescued the toddler, she was eight years old and had a daughter named Koola clinging to her back the whole time! She later had a son named Bakari, and is currently a great-grandmother.
Fun Facts About Gorillas
Some gorillas in captivity have learned to use sign language to communicate with humans.
Gorillas live in family groups called troops or bands.
They sleep at night in nests on the ground.
A full-grown adult male will eat around 50 pounds (about 23kg) of food in a day.
They are the largest species of primates.
Video of Binti saving toddler: