'Sexist' Gorilla Patrick Booted at Dallas Zoo for Behavioral Problems

Image: 'Sexist' Gorilla Patrick Booted at Dallas Zoo for Behavioral Problems

Wednesday, 25 Sep 2013 08:19 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Patrick, the Dallas Zoo's "sexist" gorilla, is getting booted, er, being given a new start in South Carolina, where zoo experts hope to make him more of a ladies' man.

The zoo told the Dallas Morning News on Tuesday that Patrick is being transferred to the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in Columbia, S.C., after attempts to make the lowland gorilla more sociable with other gorillas failed. 

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Patrick was raised by humans at the Bronx Zoo after being rejected by his mother. His connection with humans made him a staff and visitor favorite, but the gorilla struggled to relate with other members of his species.

When the Dallas Zoo brought in two female gorillas for mating a few years ago, the 23-year-old Patrick bit one on the leg, which forced zoo officials to transfer the females to the Kansas City Zoo, the Dallas Morning News reported.

John Davis, Riverbanks' curator of mammals said that the South Carolina zoo has a national reputation for behavior management for gorillas, and Patrick will get an enclosed bachelor's pad where he can see other gorillas and mix with them only when he is ready.

"He is simply socialized more to people than to gorillas, so he prefers to be alone," the Dallas Zoo said on its Facebook page about Patrick's impending move. "This carefully planned move has been years in the making, involving gorilla experts from across the nation, and is the best move for him and for our Zoo. Our animals' welfare is always our priority." 

Patrick's fans expressed sadness about the gorilla's departure but seemed to understand the necessity of the move.

"He is our favorite gorilla at the Dallas Zoo and we will definitely miss seeing him," posted Rachel Hathway Volmer. "However; we are excited for him and his new adventures at the Riverbanks Zoo. A big thank you to the Dallas Zoo and all they do for the animals!"

Tisha Marie Davis wrote on Facebook, "Really going to miss sweet Patrick. He always had such a sadness in his eyes. I truly hope he finds joy in his new home."

The zoo is planning a going away party for Patrick next weekend.

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Related stories:

Dog Poses as Lion at Chinese Zoo But Gets Caught After Barking (Video)

Snow Leopard Cub Makes His Cute Debut at Bronx Zoo (Video)

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