Gorillas are incredible animals, and in many ways, they are just like us. They possess distinct personalities and in the wild, they share strong emotional bonds with family members. They even mourn their loved ones, like us. Thanks to films like Godzilla, these animals have sometimes been given a violent reputation, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Gorillas are by no means violent tempered. In fact, research shows the great kindness gorillas show and on the whole, they are peaceful beings. If you need any proof of the emotional intelligence, or sweet nature of these animals, just look to this snapshot of a gorilla cuddling a lost duckling at the Bristol Zoo.

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It’s clear from this photo that this gorilla poses no harm to the little bird and it makes us wish that this sweet being could live out in the wild instead of behind bars. You see, when locked in captivity, wild animals have no way to express their natural behaviors or live in the tight social units that they would in the wild. This baby duckling stumbling into the zoo enclosure may be the closest thing this gorilla will have to a baby of her own. Instead of this gorilla being in the wild with her family, she will live inside of this enclosure, in a man-made environment, for people to gawk and stare at her day in and day out. While this scene is a sweet display of affection, it is also a reminder that gorillas, or any wild animals, should not be put on display for human entertainment.

You can help raise awareness for the plight of zoo animals by sharing this article and encouraging others to learn more about how captivity impacts the mental and physical well-being of wild animals. When we stop paying to see these animals behind bars, they can finally be free.

Image source: Imgur