A guy and his gorilla: Huge beast treated like one of the family by zoo owner

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

By Emily Allen

Big love: Pierre Thivillon, owner of the zoo of Saint-Martin-la-Plaine, gets a kiss from adopted gorilla Digit

To describe your child as a gorilla is a bit rude to say the least.

But for French zoologists Pierre and Elaine Thivillon, who own a zoo in Saint-Martin la-Plaine near Lyon, this is exactly what their 'little one' is.

They have fostered a gorilla called Digit who was rejected by her mother and they now treat her as their own.

Right at home: Pierre and Elaine Thivillon pose with Digit at their bedroom window

In these adorable pictures she is pictured spending time with her 'parents' and even giving her 'father' a loving peck on the lips.

She is clearly very comfortable in their company and despite her enormous size and strength, the couple obviously have not the slightest fear of her.

The unusual addition to their family was born at the zoo in 1998, but her mother did not know how to breastfeed her.

The couple stepped in to bottle feed her but her health took a turn for the worse and she underwent two life-saving operations.

Digit, who weighs 80 kilos, could live for up to 50 years.

Time for a chat: A male gorilla at the zoo called Euro looks longingly at Mr Thivillon

Chilling: Mr Thivillon and Digit appear to be deep in conversation. The Thivillons adopted the gorilla when her mother was unable to feed her


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