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2023-11-29T15:40:59.118352+00:00
A gorilla shared a sweet moment with a man she's known her whole life - stealing his hat and giving him tender hug. 

Video shows Damian Aspinall, an animal conservationist, crouched in front of Tambabi, 37.

The sweet encounter happened at Howletts Wild Animal Park in Canterbury, Kent, which is owned by The Aspinall Foundation, whose Damian is the chairman.

The pair shared this moment on November 11 when Damian visited Howletts, which was started by his father. 

Tambabi was born in the park and Damian, 63, has known her since birth.



The gorilla and her family are very close to him.

In the video, Tambabi can be heard grunting and gurgling, which is how the animals communicate. 

According to a Howletts spokesperson, by making those sounds Tambabi is

"intimating very loving sounds."

The Aspinall Foundation works with wild animals and specifically gorillas. 

They protect a gorilla habitat the size of Kent on the Batk Plateau in central Africa and have saved more than 1,000 animal lives. 

According to the Howletts spokesperson, the trust Tambabi shows in the footage is very rare. 

They said: "Tambabi and this family of gorillas only interact in this way with Damian and his conservationist daughter Freya Aspinall. "

"Tambabi has known both Damian and Freya since her birth."

The park hasn't attempted such close contact between Tambabi and anyone else. 

They added: "It has not been attempted with anyone else other than Damian and Freya."

"Its not something Damian would encourage other people to do as they are wild animals and not pets. "

"This relationship is only possible through a lifetime of mutual trust, no training or taming."

"[It can only be achieved through] A lifetime of mutual trust and respect. No shortcuts. No tricks."

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Clip ID: 607710

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