A Lowland Silverback gorilla named Jambo became famously known for the gentleness he displayed towards little five-year-old Levan Merritt, who fell into the gorilla enclosure at a Jersey Zoo one day in 1986. The dramatic event made international headlines. Never before had people seen such a touching display of compassion by a gorilla.
On a vacation from the UK, the family visited the zoo, and one of their first points of interest was the gorilla enclosure. However, they soon realized that the gorillas had gathered beneath the wall below them. Levan’s father lifted him onto the wall so he could get a better look and the toddler fell into the enclosure. People watched in horror as a female gorilla and offspring moved closer to the young boy, but then Jambo closely followed and protected the young child by creating a barrier between the boy and the other gorillas.
The onlookers were fearful that Jambo would harm the child, but in fact, the opposite was true. His paternal instinct set in and he looked after little Levan until help arrived.
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