Over the years, conservationist Damian Aspinall, of the Aspinall Foundation, has worked with hundreds of gorillas to help them rehabilitate and return to their natural environment when the need arises.
One gorilla seemed troubled, so Aspinall went back to check on him.
One gorilla that stood out in particular for him was named Kwibi.
Aspinall took care of him night and day until he turned five years old. After his fifth birthday, he had been returned to the jungles of Gabon.
In time, the foundation’s conservationists took note that Kwibi had started to behave aggressively towards people who tried to approach him. Without warning, he would turn dangerous and even attck.
Aspinall thought it might be a good idea to check on him in person.
However, Kwibi was now 10 years old, and was now much bigger and stronger than he would have remembered.
There was also the danger that Kwibi may have forgotten his former caretaker and would harm him, possibly even kill him.
Despite that, Aspinall went with his gut.
“I wasn’t 100 percent sure. You never know. He is a wild animal now,” Aspinall said.
“But deep inside you believe that things will be OK.”
Was Aspinall making the right decision?
Fortunately, Kwibi recognized his former guardian, and a single sound assured Aspinall that everything would be okay.
“The moment I heard the gurgle—
gorillas have a gurgle, and it’s a very deep love gurgle—I knew that I’d be OK,” Aspinall recalled.
“Right at that moment, everything stopped. The sounds of the forest stopped and the sounds of the river stopped, and I was just captivated in that moment. He looked in my eyes with such intensity and such love,” he added.
When asked why Kwibi appeared more dangerous with other humans, Aspinall explained that, “He’s familiar with me but not familiar with other human beings, which is the way it should be,” according to Today.