Zoo Gorilla Shares The Sweetest Moment With A Tiny Visitor In His Enclosure

"Aww, they're friends!"

The other day, while paying a visit to the gorilla enclosure at the Detroit Zoo, guest Alex Phillips spotted something he did not expect.

It was an adorable glimpse at an unlikely friendship.

Wikimedia

Looking into the gorilla enclosure, Phillips caught sight of a wild groundhog who'd burrowed her way into the great ape's territory. She'd emerged from the grassy ground for a look around.

But Phillips wasn't the only one who noticed.

As he and other guests watched, the resident gorilla approached the far tinier visitor — and proceeded to give her a pet. "Aww, they're friends!" one onlooker gushed.

Here's that moment on video:

"I thought it was so freaking adorable!" Phillips told The Dodo.

Phillips believes that the groundhog has actually been living in the gorilla's enclosure for some time, having seen her there on an earlier visit. And, given how comfortable she seemed to be around the gorilla, it wasn't the pair's first friendly interaction.

"This was one of those things I had to video," Phillips said.

Wikimedia

Despite common stereotypes which depict gorillas as oafish brutes, they are in fact remarkably intelligent, complex animals with a surprisingly soft and gentle side, just like their human counterparts.

"Gorillas are typically portrayed as very aggressive, mean animals," Phillips said. "But this shows that their default seems to be more curious than anything else."