Despite Kesho appearing almost unrecognisable, with his weight ballooning by 200lbs, head gorilla keeper Mark Tye said Alf had no problem recognising his sibling.
‘We weren’t entirely sure that the brothers would even know each other, but the moment they met you could just see the recognition in their eyes,’ he said. ‘They were touching each other through the cage that temporarily separated them and there were no acts of aggression. ‘We put them together 24 hours later and it was like they had never been apart. ‘They were very animated and there was a lot of rough and tumble on the floor, but not in an aggressive way. ‘It is quite unusual to see that sort of childlike behaviour in a silverback.’ Kesho was recently moved to the new £3m enclosure after his attempts to father a baby gorilla were unsuccessful due to him being infertile.
‘They have formed a really tight bond and Kesho is actually incredibly tolerant,’ added Mr Tye. ‘Had they been two strangers there would have been a lot of face-to-face confrontation and some fighting and screaming. ‘But Kesho and Alf were happy to turn their backs on one another which is a sign of trust.
‘It is great for Alf to have an older brother to look up to and learn from and Kesho seems to enjoy being the centre of attention.
‘It was very satisfying to see.’ The pair now look set to spend the rest of their days in the bachelor pad enclosure, set up due to the large amount of males in the current European breeding programme.