The Aspinall Foundation led by conservationist Damian Aspinall has been working to reintroduce captive gorillas back to the wild. Over the years, they have helped hundreds of apes but one pair stood out from the rest.
After 15 years of raising a pair of Western lowland gorillas, Djalta and Bimms, in Kent, England, Damian released them into the forests of Gabon in West Africa.
Since their liberation, Damian has visited the apes on several occasions but his daughter, Tansy, who grew up around the primates, hasn’t seen them in about 12 years.
“My sister Clary and I often played with Djalta and Bims on the lawn and sometimes we went into the cages with other gorillas. I loved being around them all, but those two guys were really very special to us, like our relative,” said Tansy.
“I last saw them when I was ten and they were being crated up for the trip to the conservation site in Gabon,” she recalled.
So on one of his trips two years ago, the animal expert asked his daughter to accompany him.
The father-daughter duo made the trip into the rainforests of the west African country to reunite with the now-wild gorillas in hopes that the apes would remember Tansy.
“When we set out to find them again I was a little apprehensive at first because I didn’t know if they would remember me after all that time, or if they had become hardened by life and possibly dangerous,” Tansy confessed.
They spent hours on a boat calling for Djalta and Bimms before they finally appeared from the forest and something incredible happened.
Watch the video below to see if the gorillas recognized Tansy after so many years of her being absent:
That was so sweet! They even wanted her to stay longer.
Share this adorable reunion with your friends! It’ll surely put a smile on their faces.