A young woman, Tansy Aspinall, grew up alongside gorillas during her childhood because her parents ran The Aspinall Foundation, a non-profit organization that rehabilitates gorillas that were in captivity at a park in England. One of her closest gorilla friends, who she last saw at the age of 11, was released back into the wild and Aspinall went to see if she could reunite with him.
Animals are such intelligent beings, often having memories and senses that surpass those of humans. Many animals, such as elephants, crows, and sea lions, have superb long-term memories that allow them to remember loved ones, grieve, and even seek revenge.
Gorillas are no different, which is something Aspinall learned when she went to visit a gorilla she had grown up with and last seen 12 years prior.
Aspinall told Daily Mail in an interview,
“My sister Clary and I often played with Djalta and Bimms 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 relatives.”
Though Bimms’ and Tansy’s childhood relationship was strong, as she said that they “would come up and hug you, and we’d run and roll around and chase them,” Apinall was understandably apprehensive about meeting Bimms again. She wasn’t sure if he would even recognize her or if he had perhaps even become dangerous like all wild animals can be when defending themselves.
Once the two reunited, all of her apprehensions disappeared. Bimms immediately recognized his best friend from so many years ago and offered her hugs.
Tansy was relieved and happy about the reunion, saying,
“He definitely recognized me. He was so sweet and he was hugging me and being so gentle. He’s 18 now.”
It’s adorable how these two were able to connect after all these years, and it reminds humans that animals have a level of intelligence that many don’t give them credit for.
Watch below to see the touching reunion between Tansy and Bimms.