No Big Deal: Gorilla and Dutch Rabbit Are Adorable Friends

03/15/2012 at 09:00 AM EDT

No Big Deal: Gorilla and Dutch Rabbit Are Adorable Friends
Samantha and Panda
Greg Wohlford/AP
Samantha the gorilla and Panda the Dutch rabbit are like two peas in a pod – and it doesn't matter that Samantha weighs about 200 lbs.

This unlikely pair met in February after zookeepers at Pennsylvania's Erie Zoo decided the lonely 47-year-old gorilla needed a pal, one that was non-threatening to the fragile primate.

They chose Panda, a calm and sweet Dutch bunny, to be the first companion the lowland gorilla had been with since male gorilla Rudy died in 2005.

"To have something sharing their space that they can observe and interact with is always going to be beneficial," zoo Director Cindy Kreider told the Erie Times-News. "Right off the bat, they hit it off."



Samantha and Panda's unusual friendship has captivated visitors, who stop by their enclosure hoping to see Samantha scratch Panda's chin or pat his soft fur gently.

Though Samantha towers over him, Panda seems unfazed by her size. "He's fearless," Scott Mitchell, the zoo's chief executive told the Times-News. "He's not threatened by her. More often they're closer together than they are farther apart."

Can't get enough pet news? See more on PEOPLE Pets

Hello, World! Bailey the Possum Greets Her Public

Bo Obama Crashes TV News Broadcast


Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Emma and Andrew: All About Hollywood's Cutest Couple
  • Prince George! More Yummy Photos

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine

blog comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement

From Our Partners

Watch It

Latest Photos

Stars and Their Pets

Gavin's Pooch Pick-Me-Up

From Our Partners



Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters