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Binti Jua, an 8-year-old western lowland gorilla at the time, rescued a 3-year-old child who fell almost 20 feet into the Brookfield Zoo's gorilla exhibit. (1996)
In 1996, a family visited the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago. Among the many animals and exhibits they saw were the gorillas. One of the gorillas was an 8-year-old western lowland gorilla named Binti Jua, who had given birth to her own child the previous year. Binti Jua, child of father Sunshine and mother Lulu, was the product the Columbus Zoo's extremely successful gorilla breeding program.
A little known fact about Binti Jua is that her aunt is none other than the world renowned gorilla Koko, known as much for her love of kittens as her ability to communicate fluently in English via sign language.
Getting back to the story.... imagine the visiting family's surprise when their 3-year-old son fell 18 feet into the gorilla exhibit. Though this was captured on video (which I've seen), I was not able to track down a link online for you, but I am happy to report to you what happened. Among the gasps of onlookers, Binti Jua, with her 17-month-old child clinging to her back, picked up the boy and carried him over to a rock and held him until zoo staff could get in to retrieve him.
The story was picked up by the press instantly and, overnight, Binti Jua became a headline making emissary of the animal kingdom known 'round the world.
Oh, and a big Thanks! to my Uncle Dave for reminding me about the story of Binti Jua.
I'm not too sure how long I can continue this series, but I've still got one or two stories to go.
And in other news, I saw Tanner the other nite when I was taking a midnight stroll around the neighborhood. Tanner says, "Woof!" and everything seems to be OK in his world.
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