Humans aren’t the only ones who need therapy; some animals do, too.
Patrick, a 430-pound gorilla, has been evicted from the Dallas Zoo because he has been displaying “sexist” and anti-social behavior, prompting zookeepers to send him to therapy. He will be sent to Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens in South Carolina, a zoo known for working with gorillas with behavioral problems.
Reuters reported that the zoo decided to evict 23-year-old Patrick when it acquired two new males from the Calgary Zoo, one of whom is a viral video star named Zola, famous for his break-dancing videos on the Internet.
According to Reuters, Patrick has no interest in mating or making friends. He once bit a female gorilla and has been sneering and nipping at others.
On Tuesday, the Dallas Zoo wrote on its Facebook that Patrick isn’t anti-social or going away for therapy, though. “Please don't believe everything you read on the Internet,” the statement read. “Patrick isn't going away for ‘therapy’ and he's not ‘anti-social.’ He is simply socialized more to people than to gorillas, so he prefers to be alone. This carefully planned move has been years in the making, involving gorilla experts from across the nation, and is the best move for him and for our zoo. Our animals' welfare is always our priority.”
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Dallas Zoo officials, however, told Reuters they have been repeatedly trying to work with Patrick to socialize with the other gorillas, but he has resisted.
"It's not like we haven't tried; he's been here for 18 years," Dallas Zoo spokeswoman Laurie Holloway told Reuters.
Patrick reportedly is “more tolerant” of other male gorillas as opposed to females. He did get along well with another gorilla named Jabari, but that ape was shot dead by Dallas police after escaping in 2004 and injuring three people.
Born in the Bronx Zoo in 1990, Patrick, a Western lowland gorilla, also gets along well with people because he was raised by humans at the Dallas Zoo, where he has lived since he was five years old after being abandoned by his mother. Dallas Zoo officials said he is a popular animal with visitors as well as zookeepers.
"He's beautiful and smart and everyone loves him," Holloway said. "We're really sad to see him go, but it's for the best for the zoo and for Patrick."
Riverbanks Zoo said Patrick will be separated from the three other male gorillas at first but will be able to see and smell them.