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Binti the Brave Gorilla

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In August of 1996, a 3 year old boy fell 24 feet into the gorilla enclosure at the Brookfield Zoo. After the boy fell into the exhibit, Binti, a female gorilla with her child on her back walked over and gently picked the child up. She cradled the unconscious toddler in her arms and carried him over to the door, where to zoo keepers could retrieve him. A visitor who witnessed the rescue said, ”Another gorilla walked toward the boy, and she kind of turned around and walked away from the other gorillas and tried to be protective”. The boy suffered a broken hand and large cut on his face; he spent four days in the hospital but recovered fully. Binti received international attention from the incident and special treats from zoo staffers. Afterwards, experts debated whether Binti’s actions were due to training by the zoo or “animal altruism”- when an animal acts to benefit another without a specific motive. However many believe that Binti’s actions were a result of being raised by humans and specially trained to care for her own child.

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The student news site of Academic Magnet High School in North Charleston, South Carolina.
Binti the Brave Gorilla