Patrick a 23-year-old Western lowland gorilla has been a fixture at the Dallas Zoo since 1995. And while the gregarious male seems to love humans, his attitude toward his fellow gorillas especially females, has left much to be desired, leaving officials with no choice but to ship him off to a new home.
Abandoned by his mother soon after he was born in 1990 at New York's Bronx Zoo, Patrick spent the first few years of his life in Toronto, where he and another male gorilla were hand-raised by a zoo keeper. Then in 1995, Patrick was moved to his current home in Dallas,Texas.
Over the years, zoo workers have made several attempts to get him to become friends with the other gorillas, but the results have always been dismal especially, when it came to females. In the hopes of getting him to socialize and maybe even breed, they introduced him to two different female groups on separate occasions. He not only sneered at them but also got aggressive, nipping and even biting one.
His attitude towards the males has not been much better - Though not as bad, he was totally aloof and the only gorilla he showed any interest in, turned out to be a troublemaker by the name of Jabari who had to be put down, after he escaped in 2004 and injured three Dallas residents.
Thanks to his cranky behavior Patrick has been secluded from the other gorillas and given his own habitat for the last few years. While he seems to be fine with that, the Dallas Zoo officials now need the space to bring in two new males from the Calgary Zoo - Shana and Zola, who happens to be a breakdancing sensation on YouTube! (see video below).
The officials also believe that Patrick may be better served in his new home at the Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens in Columbia, South Carolina, because they have a special unit that knows how to handle gorillas with behavioral issues. Patrick will live in quarters close to that of the zoo's other three male gorillas, so that they can all get acquainted. Over time, he may even be allowed to move in with them - that is, if he shows any signs of improving his attitude.
And while the Dallas Zoo gorillas are probably not too sad seeing this 430-lbs bully leave, the officials and zoo patrons sure are. To bid a fond farewell, they are holding a party for Patrick this weekend, complete with mini-cupcakes! So if you happen to be in the Dallas area, be sure to visit!
Resources: Huffingtonpost.com, Popsci.com