baby gorilla

While visiting the zoo, 2-year-old Braylee was captured pressing her palms to the glass while the 5-month-old gorilla, Gus, reciprocated the sweet gesture, Mashable reported.

Toddler and Her New Baby Gorilla Friend Share a Touching Moment

Her grandmother, LizAnn Lodes, commented on the zoo’s photo and shared that the toddler and monkey really connected. “It was so cute,” she said. “They ‘chatted’!! I almost cried it was so adorable!” At the same time, we think there’s a tinge of sadness to the image, thinking about how little Gus is behind a window instead of roaming free. However, the state of gorillas in the wild is complicated. As Mashable writes:

“To be sure, Gus and his family’s plight is a complicated one. In the wild, western lowland gorillas are critically endangered — largely due to poaching and disease. They are also known for their incredibly slow rates of reproduction, which makes it difficult for them to recover from steep declines in population.”

The photo was posted promoting the zoo’s photo contest where they are encouraging followers to share their best animal encounters. And if that photo’s not enough to melt your heart, check out this sweet snap of Gus (short for Augustus).

And the winning name is … Augustus “Gus!” Watch the highly anticipated name reveal at YouTube.com/FortWorthZoo With more than 8,800 votes it was an exciting campaign season to watch! At one point, three different names were leading in the three different polls. Grover led the Facebook vote, Gus led the Twitter vote and Mosi was the favorite for in-park voters. However, once Pittsburg State, a small public university in Pittsburg, Kan., got wind of the contest, they encouraged their students to vote for the name that happens to share the name of their mascot, Gus the Gorilla. Within 24 hours, Gus surged from third place to first, surpassing Mosi and Grover. Guests can visit Gus, his parents Elmo and Gracie and the rest of the troop at the World of Primates exhibit.

A photo posted by fortworthzoo (@fortworthzoo) on

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