They are big. They are beautiful. And in many ways, they are just like us.
Gorillas have gripped the world’s attention in recent days since the killing of Harambe, the gorilla at Cincinnati Zoo, after a small boy tumbled into his enclosure.
Arguments will continue about whether the ape would have harmed the child or was, in fact, a gentle giant.
Did Harambe the gorilla have to die? Here's what you need to know https://t.co/1GF3Y0TLkD— TIME.com (@TIME) 1 juin 2016
But whatever his intentions, Harambe belongs to a species that shares 98.3 percent of its DNA with human beings, making gorillas one of our closest cousins, second only to chimpanzees and bonobos, according to the WWF.
It describes them as “charismatic, intelligent animals” which “often surprise us with behaviours and emotions so similar to our human experience”.
Laughter and sadness, for example, are displayed by gorillas.
Singing for their Supper
A study earlier this year found that gorillas sing and hum when eating. While you or I may or may not do the same, experts say the finding could shed light on the evolution of language in early humans.
Another study from 2012 indicates that adult gorillas have their own version of ‘baby talk’. They were found to modify the gestures they use when engaging with their young.
And who could blame the grown-ups for adapting their behaviour when their little ones are as cute as this!
Take a look at these gorilla mums.
Gorillas are like us in so many ways.