Touching moment baby chimp is reunited with its surrogate mum

Touching moment injured chimp is reunited with his mum after he spent the night at the vet

  • Young chimp Gandali was attacked by a brown snake
  • He reunited with his adopted mum the following day
  • READ MORE: Taronga Zoo underpaid staff 

The moment a young chimp ran into its adopted mother’s arms after recovering from a lethal snake bite has warmed the hearts of thousands of Aussies.

Three-year-old chimpanzee Gandali was reunited with his surrogate mother, Samantha, at Central Queensland‘s Rockhampton Zoo last Wednesday.

Gandali was attacked by an eastern brown snake the day before. Handlers believe he mistook the venomous snake for a toy.

Zookeepers immediately rushed to Gandali’s rescue, but protective mum Samantha fought to stay by his side.

Once the pair were separated, Gandali was taken to the veterinarian team for antivenom treatment and observed overnight.

Three-year-old chimpanzee Gandali (above) was reunited with his adopted mother, Samantha, after being bitten by an eastern brown snake last week

Miraculously, the small chimp fully recovered from the dangerous bite and returned to his mum the next morning.

Footage of the pair hugging each other after Gandali’s treatment was shared online, with viewers commenting, ‘they certainly missed each other’.

‘That was beautiful to watch,’ one person wrote.

‘So grateful the vet team saved this little one. Mum looks so happy,’ another said.

Cr Rutherford said Gandali was re-introduced to each chimpanzee in a separate ‘den’ before he was freed into the outdoor enclosure.

‘Gandali returned to Rockhampton Zoo where he is slowly being reintroduced to the troop. He has already been reunited with his surrogate mother, Samantha, with both of them running into each other’s arms, which was beautiful,’ Cr Rutherford said.

‘This reintegration process will … allow for the troop dynamic to readjust, which is an important process when a chimp has left the troop and returned, even for a short period of time.’

Samantha took on the role of Gandali’s adopted mum after his birth mother, Holly, died in December, 2022.

The chimp was at Rockhampton Zoo for 11 years before suddenly becoming sick and passing overnight.

Little Gandali ran into Samatha's arms and the pair hugged (above) after Gandali was taken overnight for antivenom treatment

Samantha took on the role of Gandali's mum after his birth mother, Holly (pictured with Gandali), died in late 2022

Samantha and Gandali already had a special relationship with Samantha caring for him after her own twin chimps were stillborn in 2021.

Cr Rutherford thanked the team who helped Gandali’s quick recovery.

‘I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to our Rockhampton Zoo team and our local vet team for their swift response and expert care, and also the overwhelming support from our community who had Gandali in their thoughts,’ she said.


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