Kwibi had become aggressive in his later years. He was released back into the wild when he was five years old by the man who had raised him, Damian Aspinall, and since then no one had been able to get close to this wild gorilla.
Damian is a conservationist, and he brought Kwibi up in England when he was younger. The pair were very close and after years apart Damian was determined to see him. It’s had been five years since Damian and Kwibi had seen each other, and there was much anticipation as to what would happen when Damian found his old friend.
Kwibi was introduced back into the wild as a part of a conservation programme which introduced gorillas who had spent most of their younger lives in zoos or parks. As a result Kwibi became bigger, and stronger. Since no one was able to get close to Kwibi safety when he was in the wild, hopes for a happy reunion were doubtful.
‘I was determined to see him’, Damian Aspinall said. Damian and his brother made their way to West Africa and started to search for Kwibi. ‘I have this call for the gorillas, and I was calling him. I turn around the corner and there he was, this magnificent, now ten year old gorilla.’ Damian had found a much older, and bigger Kwibi. Even though Kwibi hadn’t seen Damian for over five years, he remembered his voice and came to the edge of the river to meet his old friend.
However those fears were soon put to rest. Damian sat down on the floor, and he soon heard this overwhelming sound coming from Kwibi. ‘The moment I heard his deep love rumbling gurgle, I knew then I was ok.’ It was a happy reunion that managed to make everyone’s hearts melt. ‘We just sort of sat there drunk on one another.’