Some children can be quite the handful, but don’t complain about that to Damian Aspinall. Aspinall, a British conservationist and millionaire, raised a zoo-bred gorilla named Kwibi as his own son along with dozens of others. Years after releasing him back into the wild when he got too old for the sanctuary, Aspinall wanted to pay Kwibi a visit. However, in the five years since saying goodbye, the gorilla had become very aggressive towards humans. Despite this, Aspinall decided to continue with his reunion plans. He eventually located the dangerous gorilla, and what happened next was truly inspiring. Click trough to read their amazing story!
#12 Meet Damian Aspinall
Damian Aspinall is a British millionaire and conservationist. He made his fortune in the real estate business and has his father to thank for his own love for animals, especially gorillas. Damian’s father began an animal foundation that focuses on breeding gorillas and then returning them to the wild.
#11 The Foundation
John Aspinall first had the idea to open a zoo on his family estate. But soon, it turned into a sanctuary where animals were treated like family and could roam about the land freely. Over 100 gorillas have been born there and over 75 currently live there. When John died, his son took over and went on to release upwards of 50 into the wild.
#10 Meet Kwibi
One of the 50+ gorillas that Aspinall released into the wild of Africa was Kwibi. Aspinall grew up around the animals and loved them all, but there was something a little bit special about Kwibi. The two grew very close throughout Kwibi’s life and Damian treated him like a son.
#9 Releasing Kwibi Into The Wild
As he did with all of the gorillas, he raised Kwibi up until he was the age of five. The animals all lived on his family estate in England, but they simply couldn’t remain there forever. As part of the rehabilitation process, the animals must be returned to the wild in Africa, which is where Damian took Kwibi.
#8 The Destination
Thankfully, the land that Kwibi would go to was a protected area in Africa. Part of the Aspinall Foundation includes land in the forests of Gabon, and this is where the gorillas go to get acclimated with the wild. This provides a nice “middle ground” for the gorillas that are used to living in a completely protected and friendly environment.