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Saturday, October 8, 2011

I'm quackers about you! Gorilla who dotes on a duckling

By Daily Mail Reporter

Nice to meet you: The huge gorilla happily sits next to the escaped duckling at Bronx Zoo, New York

This huge gorilla and tiny duckling became unlikely friends after the bird escaped into the ape's zoo enclosure.

Visitors to the Bronx Zoo in New York were stunned when the baby duck suddenly appeared inches from the massive primate.

Fearing the 90kg western lowland gorilla might react badly to the feathered visitor, onlookers held their breath to see what would happen.

Stick around, little buddy: Visitors to the zoo were stunned when the baby duck suddenly appeared inches from the primate

But rather than attacking or teasing the duckling, the four-and-a-half foot gorilla became fascinated with the bird and inspected its new friend with a nearby stick.

The 15-year-old female ape, called Fran, happily let it waddle about before the duckling was removed by zookeepers.

Although gorillas are frequently portrayed as aggressive, dangerous killers, they are shy, peaceful vegetarians.

Little and large: The curious beast plays with the duckling, using a small stick

The little bird confidently hops into the gorilla enclosure and makes new friends

Photographer Tom Warren, 51, captured the intimate scenes and said: 'I went to the zoo and quickly became aware of a commotion in the gorilla exhibit, as many of the school children were yelling "ducky, ducky!"

'We all watched with amazement as the little duckling wandered around the exhibit, while the gorillas either backed away from it or inspected it with curiosity.

'Then I spotted the duckling on the log next to a seemingly, amused gorilla.

New best friends: The 15-year-old female ape, called Fran, happily let the duckling waddle about before it was removed by zookeepers

'The duckling did not seem the least bit intimidated and for good reason, as Africa's gentle giants eat mostly fruits and plants.

'How fortunate I was to witness a wonderful moment between two unlikely friends.

'I held my breath and was able to fire off a few frames, knowing that the moment that I was witnessing was a very special one.'

Mr Warren, from New York, added: 'I was relieved when I got home and that the scene was in focus despite the fact that the photograph was taken through a thick piece of plexiglass.'



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