This huge gorilla and tiny duckling became unlikely friends after the bird escaped into the ape's zoo enclosure.
Visitors to the zoo were stunned when the baby duck suddenly appeared inches from the primate.
Fearing the 90kg western lowland gorilla might react badly to the feathered visitor, onlookers held their breath to see what would happen. But rather than give the duckling a hard time, the 4 and a half foot gorilla became fascinated with the bird and inspected its new friend with a nearby stick. The 15 year old female ape, called Fran, happily let it waddle about before the duckling was removed by zookeepers.
|Image from The Telegraph|
Although gorillas are frequently portrayed as aggressive, dangerous killers, they are shy, peaceful vegetarians. Photographer Tom Warren, 51, captured the intimate scenes at Bronx Zoo, in New York. He said: "I went to the zoo and quickly became aware of a commotion in the gorilla exhibit, as many of the school children were yelling 'ducky, ducky!'
"We all watched with amazement as the little duckling wandered around the exhibit, while the gorillas either backed away from it or inspected it with curiosity.
"Then I spotted the duckling on the log next to a seemingly, amused gorilla.
"The duckling did not seem the least bit intimidated and for good reason, as Africa's gentle giants eat mostly fruits and plants.
"How fortunate I was to witness a wonderful moment between two unlikely friends.
"I held my breath and was able to fire off a few frames, knowing that the moment that I was witnessing was a very special one. Tom, from New York, added: "I was relieved when I got home and that the scene was in focus despite the fact that the photograph was taken through a thick piece of plexiglass."
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