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A striking silverback gorilla has been captured gently patting a tiny groundhog during feeding time at Detroit Zoo.
Given how adorable groundhogs are, we don’t blame him for stopping for some affection.
The primate, named Kongo, is seen carefully lowering his hand to touch his little furry friend and then immediately as he grabs the groundhog’s attention, he swiftly moves his hand away.
He once again strokes the top of the groundhog’s head before slowly turning his back.
The video uploaded to Facebook has united animal lovers everywhere, with many marvelling over the sweet interaction.
One person wrote: “Aww that's so beautiful and I love our zoo, especially the silverback gorilla. He really is so peaceful and gentle and has an amazing personality. I got a great shot of him a few weekends ago!”
Another commented: “It’s so funny because that little groundhog would run down into its den if a human tried that!!”
A third person said: “We saw them playing chase at the Walk for Wishes!” while another wrote: “life lesson: sometimes you just need to stop and pet the groundhog.”
This uplifting piece of news follows a new initiative to protect Grauer's gorillas in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, according to ABC News.
Last month, the nonprofit Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund announced that more Grauer's gorillas would land in Congo, where they will fall under a community-protection initiative.
The community-protection interactive comes after 60 per cent of critically endangered species were wiped out in the past two decades, leaving an estimated 3,800 to 6,800 Eastern Lowland gorillas.
However, with many Grauer’s gorillas relocating to Congo, their habitat could be threatened by land clearing and mining.
But in 2016, a piece of legislation introduced in the Congo Parliament allowed communities to apply for rights to manage their traditional lands.
The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund also aided eastern Congo communities in seeking outside support, helping to manage the land to protect gorilla habitats.
Primatologist and director of conservation at the North Carolina Zoo Richard Bergl said of the new program: “Grauer’s gorillas exist exclusively in a country that has suffered really extreme degrees of instability for decades.
“When there is violence happening, it’s very challenging to maintain the infrastructure of a national park.
"But the communities will be there regardless of political instability. If you have their support, you have a chance.”
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