DALLAS — There will be no rose ceremony for a 430-pound bachelor gorilla that failed to form any meaningful relationships with fellow apes during an 18-year stay at the Dallas Zoo.
Patrick, the 23-year-old Western lowland gorilla known for being gregarious with zoo staff and the public, while being ambivalent toward his female counterparts, has been handed his walking papers. The silverback will be transferred to the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in Columbia, S.C. where he’ll be allowed more solitude, according to a statement issued Monday by the Dallas Zoo.
Patrick was born at the Bronx Zoo in New York City in April 1990, but maternal neglect forced him to be moved to the Toronto Zoo where he was hand-raised with another male his own age. Both gorillas arrived in Dallas at age 5 and were integrated into a small troop of one silverback and two females, before being removed to form a bachelor group together.
Despite his affability with humans and his popularity in zoo presentations about gorillas, zoo officials said Patrick’s reaction toward matched females has ranged from indifference to aggression.
“It’s become clear that he prefers to live a solitary life,” said Dr. Lynn Kramer, head veterinarian at the Dallas Zoo. “This move will allow Patrick to continue to thrive while creating an opportunity for our four remaining males to form a cohesive bachelor group.”
No move date was announced for Patrick, a gorilla Kramer described as extremely intelligent and adept at using tools. A two-day bon-voyage celebration at the Dallas Zoo will be held Saturday and Sunday.
Patrick’s departure will leave the Dallas Zoo with six gorillas.