~ above Aug. 16, 1996, a crowd of travellers at Brookfield Zoo looked top top in fear as they saw a toddler tumble more than 15 feet right into a pit, landing close to seven

top top Aug. 16, 1996, a crowd of travellers at Brookfield Zoo looked on in fear as they observed a toddler tumble much more than 15 feet into a habitat, landing close to seven gorillas. Yet as zoo patrons cried out for help, expecting the worst because that the 3-year-old boy lying on the concrete below, an i can not qualify hero emerged.

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Binti-Jua, a rare western lowland gorilla, lumbered over to the boy, crib him in her arms, lugged him to a doorway and laid that gingerly at the feet of waiting paramedics. The female gorilla appeared to act out of completely maternalistic compassion for the human being child.


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Binti Jua, one 8-year-old female western lowlan gorilla, is shown in picture from television rescuing a toddler who fell into the primate exhibit on Aug. 16, 1996, at Brookfield Zoo (WLS-TV)

"She choose up the boy, kind of cradling him, and also walked that around," Sondra Catzen, a zoo spokeswoman, said the Tribune in ~ the time.


At an initial it appeared the boy had actually been knocked unconscious through the fall, witnesses called zoo officials, but he to be alert and crying as soon as paramedics reached him. The boy was treated at a hospital and recovered fully.


within a couple of days, camera crews and reporters indigenous England, Germany and Australia clamored to movie Bintilounging in ~ home. Dozens of people readily available money to "adopt" her. And a Chicago grocer available 25 pounds of free bananas.


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Binti Jua, ~ above Aug. 21, 2000, at the age of 12 in ~ Brookfield Zoo. (Stephanie Sinclair/Chicago Tribune)

Binti"s action twenty years ago was recalled by some civilization when a similar incident remained in the news recently. In May, a 4-year-old boy fell into a moat in ~ the Gorilla human being exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo. The accident had a lot sadder outcome: a gorilla dragged the boy for 10 minutes before the pet was shot and killed through a response team that believed the boy"s life remained in danger.


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Binti-Juameans "daughter the sunlight" in Swahili, but as an infant she had small real mothering. Born in the Columbus Zoo in Ohio in march 1988, she to be treated through indifference by her mother, public representative said. Humans had to cradle and handfeed Binti through a bottle. Together she grew, various other female apes groomed and also socialized her.

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as soon as mature, Binti learned the basics of nurturing — come the advantage of her own offspring and, in a touching minute that captured the world"s attention, an injured littleboy.


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