Gorilla brothers reunite with hug

Aug. 16, 2012 at 12:17 PM

TROWBRIDGE, England, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Officials at a British zoo said a pair of gorilla brothers separated for three years greeted each other with a big hug.

Zookeepers at the Longleat Safari park in Wiltshire, England, said Kesho, 13, has grown into a full-sized adult silverback gorilla since the last time he saw his brother, Alf, 9, but the two primates literally greeted one another with open arms -- hugging, shaking hands and slapping one another on the back -- when they were recently reunited at the zoo, The Daily Telegraph reported Thursday.

The zookeepers said the brothers were both born at Ireland's Dublin Zoo, but were separated when Kesho was sent to the London Zoo to take part in a breeding program. However, Kesho was found to be infertile and the brothers both ended up at Lengleat's new $4.71 million gorilla enclosure.

"We weren't entirely sure that the brothers would even know each other, but the moment they met you could just see the recognition in their eyes," Longleat gorilla keeper Mark Tye told the Daily Mail. "They were very animated and there was a lot of rough and tumble, but not in an aggressive way. It is quite unusual to see that sort of childlike behavior in a silverback."

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