Interspecies animal relationships aren’t uncommon, we see them time and time again and it still has the power to melt our hearts.
This story is no exception.
A union of two newborn animals shows what may happen when we take the time to accept what is different.
During a visit to a gorilla orphanage, acclaimed wildlife photographer Michael Poliza photographed the endearing interactions between a newborn gorilla and a baby chimpanzee.
The love they have for one another is evident whether they are eating together or cuddling.
During a trip to Gabon in 2007, Poliza captured the pictures. He was interested in learning more about the African country’s tourist business since it was only beginning to grow.
He got to see the love amongst these orphaned primates when visiting the Evaro Gorilla Orphanage. As chimpanzees and gorillas don’t often get along, it was a unique sight to see.
“In the wild, chimpanzees and gorillas do not get along,” Poliza tells My Modern Met. “But just like cats and dogs it seems to be mostly a trained behavior.”
“Growing up together in an orphanage breaks down that trained barrier, especially if they have room to move freely and enjoy a large and wild enclosure. I was very happy to see that. And somewhat surprised initially, but it soon made sense.”
Poliza further notes that the absence of these young animals’ moms likely had an impact on their behavior.
He has also observed this happening in other orphanages, where the animals form close bonds in an effort to replace the family they have lost.
The chimp and gorilla are developing vital social abilities via play and bonding that will help them throughout their lifetimes.