Twelve years later, two of the people who raised the pair went looking for them.
David Aspinall and his daughter Tansy had helped raise and reintroduce Djalta and Bimms, so they had something more than a passing familiarity with the animals, but they still weren”t sure if the gorillas would recognize or remember them.
The reunion took place four months ago in the rain forest of Gabon when father and daughter journeyed in a small boat up a river deep into the jungle, on what seemed like an impossible mission to find Djalta and another gorilla, Bims, who also used to live at the animal park.
Remarkably, after Tansy and her father had been searching for just a few hours in the tropical heat, they spotted two familiar faces peering quizzically from the dense forest.
And, despite not having seen their human friends for many years, the now fully grown male apes emerged to enthusiastically embrace them.
They even held onto the Aspinalls when they went to leave, and were waiting for them the next morning when they returned.
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