TAMPA, FL - A photo of a little girl and a gorilla at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is going viral- for all the right reasons. 9 year-old Emily feels a special connection with animals- and a priceless moment was captured when she and Belingo touched hands through the glass.
Gorillas, the largest primate, share 98% of their DNA with humans. The majestic creatures have individualized fingerprints, opposable thumbs, and nails instead of claws, so perhaps it's not surprising that Emily and Belingo would recognize something of themselves in each other.
In May, people were outraged when Harambe the Gorilla was shot and killed at the Cincinnati Zoo. Gorillas beyond the protective enclosures of zoos are endangered all over the world, due to loss of habitat and hunters.
But people like Emily are giving us hope. Her prized possession is her annual pass to Busch Gardens. She says wants to help animals when she grows up.
We have a feeling Emily will make a great veterinarian- and we're sure Belingo would think so, too.