Riverbanks' newest gorilla likes 'solitary' life - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Riverbanks' newest gorilla likes 'solitary' life

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Patrick (Source: Riverbanks Zoo and Garden) Patrick (Source: Riverbanks Zoo and Garden)

A new gorilla at Riverbanks Zoo is acclimating well with his new exhibit-mates, but he had a little trouble with others in his past.

Patrick, the 23-year-old Western lowland gorilla, comes to Riverbanks from the Dallas Zoo where he spent the past 18 years.

At the Dallas Zoo, Patrick was one of the zoo's most beloved animals, but there was one issue with him: he had trouble forming stable relationships with males and females in the exhibit.

In fact, the Dallas Zoo said they'd been trying to create relationships for Patrick with very little success.

"We have tried for years to socialize Patrick with other gorillas," said Lynn Kramer, animal operations vice president at the Dallas Zoo. "It's become clear that he prefers to live a solitary life. This move will allow Patrick to continue to thrive while creating an opportunity for our four remaining males to form a cohesive bachelor group."

Zoo officials pointed at Patrick's upbringing, saying his mother neglected him in his formative years. While his mother neglected him, zookeepers in Toronto raised him on their own and the 430-pounder has been able to quickly connect with handlers and zoogoers.

So far, Riverbanks officials report he has responded well to his new surroundings and fellow primates, Chaka, Mike, and Ajari.

However, Patrick does currently live separately from the other gorillas, but has close contact with them through sight and smell.

"We've spent the last few months getting Patrick acclimated to his new home, and the introduction process has gone extremely well," said John Davis, curator of mammals at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. "Patrick is full of personality and loves to interact with his keepers and the public. We are excited to have him at Riverbanks."

Guests can meet Patrick at the gorilla exhibit.

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