In 1986, Jambo the gorilla protected a young boy who fell into his enclosure

Thirty-three years ago, something happened that helped change the public’s view of the gorilla – an event that also proved heartfelt.

In 1986, during a visit to the Jersey Zoo in the United Kingdom, a 5-year-old named Levan Merritt fell a few meters into the facility’s gorilla pit and lost consciousness from a broken skull. Meanwhile, the crowd was helpless as the gorilla began to approach the baby, for fear of the harm they might do.

They only knew that Levan would be in danger. His life in the hands of a gorilla named Jambo.

Statue of Jambo by Ralph Brown at Durrell Wildlife Park

Brian Le Leon, who filmed the tragic accident, recalls: “He watched people in horror when a female Gorilla named Nandi and her offspring moved toward the child.” Following Jambo closely. As Nandi approached Jambo, he put himself among them as saying, “Don’t touch!”

Merritt was safely rescued, but the videos showing Jambo’s gentle demeanor quickly spread as well as a new way of thinking about her type.

Later Leon wrote: “I only knew how my video would change the public’s perception of the species that dispels the” King Kong “theory.

In the years that followed, Jambo was honored with a memorial to commemorate his deeds displayed in those beloved passages – leaving behind a legacy that had long passed away in 1992. But there is still one kind animal gesture that will always remain more than just a clue.

Journalists recently caught up with Levan Merritt who is now a father himself, whose life can in some ways be attributed to the gorilla’s gracious heart. This, he says, is something that will never be forgotten.

“I’m eternally grateful to Jumbo because he obviously could have gone one or two ways,” said Merritt. “It was amazing how he protected me like that.”

Ben Merritt

This makes us wonder if Harambe was any danger.

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