Family blood runs deep, even when you’re a gorilla, as the joyful reunion of two gorilla brothers at a safari park in London proves true.
The brothers – Kesho, 13, and younger brother, Alf, 9 – had not seen each other for two years after being separated in 2010 so that Kesho, a silverback gorilla, could be part of a breeding program at the London Zoo, the BBC reports.
When Kesho proved to be infertile, the brothers were given a second chance to live together.
Both gorillas were sent to the Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire, England, to live in the park’s new nearly $5 million gorilla enclosure built to house the over-population of males in the breeding program.
Their reunion, all captured on camera, was one for the family record books. Kesho and Alf put on a display of hugs, shoulder slaps, squeezes and general all-out affection once they saw each other.
“They were touching each other through the cage that temporarily separated them,” Longleat zookeeper Mark Tye said, according to the UK’s Daily Mail. “We put them together 24 hours later and it was like they had never been apart.”
“They were very animated and there was a lot of rough and tumble on the floor, but not in an aggressive way,” he said. “It is quite unusual to see that sort of childlike behavior in a silverback.”
Not even an extra 200 pounds on Kesho, gained during his reproductive duties, could throw Alf from recognizing his brother.
“The keepers from Dublin weren’t entirely sure the brothers would even know each other, but the moment they met you could just see the recognition in their eyes,” Tye said.
Though not captured on camera, the brothers had another reunion as well. Also joining them at their new home is their younger brother, six-year-old Evindi, according to the BBC.