Samantha, a 47 year-old western lowland gorilla, was in need of companionship after her “roommate” Rudy, a male gorilla, died in 2005. Zoo keepers decided she was too frail and old to have another gorilla companion, so they introduced her to Panda, a Dutch rabbit.
The two unlikely friends hit it off. Samantha gently pets Panda, and they share food.
According to zoo director Cindy Kreider, “To have something sharing their space that they can observe and interact with is always going to be beneficial.”