It takes a special kind of love to raise wild animals. As sweet and as cute as they make look when they're still young, these creatures are wild for a reason. Through the years, we’ve witnessed incredible people (some would call them animal whisperers) who built trusting relationships with the wildest creatures — lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!), but this story is about one man who has taken his relationship with wild creatures to the next level.
Meet Damian Aspinall. He is a rich conservationist (probably the best kind of conservationist to be, right?) who raised two gorillas, which he named Djalta and Ima. Over the years, the gorillas came to love and trust Aspinall.
And they had a good reason to love him. Aspinall raised the gorillas from when they were babies until they grew to become two huge 12-year-old gorillas. These two could squash Aspinall in a heartbeat if they wanted to.
But Aspinall isn’t one to leave his animals to rot in a cage until the end of time. When the gorillas were grown, the man freed them into the wilderness. Four years later, Aspinall wanted to see how they were doing.
Aspinall knew it was a risky move. Not because he thought one of the gorillas would try to steal his wife or anything like that (that's more of a human nature thing). But he was worried about putting his wife in danger, since the gorillas could attack Victoria if they didn’t trust her.
It had been four years since Djalta and Ima had been freed into the wild. The two creatures were very protective of their home, so to have people come into their habitat could have felt threatening to them. They could have easily grown angry seeing people trespass on their territory.
Watch the video below to see the gorillas interact with Victoria. Seriously, these creatures could teach some of us a thing or two about hosting and about kindness. Never judge a book by its cover, people! Even if that cover is jet-black fur.