Pa. zoo gives aging gorilla a bunny companion

ERIE, Pa. (AP) — An elderly gorilla that lives at a Pennsylvania zoo has a new companion: a bunny named Panda.

The Erie Zoo’s gorilla, Samantha, has been without a full-time friend since the death of Rudy, a male gorilla, in 2005.

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The Erie Zoo’s lowland gorilla Samantha, shares her space with Panda, a Dutch rabbit, Thursday at the zoo in Erie, Pa.

But officials say the 47-year-old western lowland gorilla is too old to be paired with another gorilla. So they opted last month to introduce her to Panda, a Dutch rabbit, last month.

The Erie Times-News reports Samantha and Panda get along well. Samantha will gently scratch under the bunny’s chin and share her food.

Officials at the zoo say Samantha has always had a gentle personality. She was hand-raised and was more comfortable around humans even when Rudy was alive.

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