Kamoli's father, a gorilla named Oliver, arrived at the Columbus Zoo from another facility, where he was living all by himself, Patty Peters, a zoo representative, told The Dodo. Luckily, Oliver was able to integrate into a troop of gorillas at the Columbus Zoo, but for many captive apes, the effects of isolation can be devastating.
Kamoli was born in captivity, but his mother couldn't take care of him. The Columbus Zoo has a surrogate gorilla program just for cases like this, so Kamoli was raised by a combination of human caretakers and older gorillas.
His game with the little visitor wasn't out of character for Kamoli. "He's very playful and likes interacting with people," Peters said. "Kamoli seems to have an affinity for small children. All the gorillas do really."
All gorilla species are currently considered endangered, but life behind glass can come with its own set of dangers.
And, while Kamoli seems to crave engagement from the little human on the other side of the glass, for some gorillas in captivity, gawking humans can seem menacing, not friendly.
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