Pa. zoo gives aging gorilla a bunny companion

Published:

ERIE, Pa. (AP) -- An elderly gorilla that lives at a Pennsylvania zoo has a new companion: a bunny named Panda.

The Erie Zoo's gorilla, Samantha, has been without a full-time friend since the death of Rudy, a male gorilla, in 2005.

But officials say the 47-year-old western lowland gorilla is too old to be paired with another gorilla. So they opted last month to introduce her to Panda, a Dutch rabbit, last month.

The Erie Times-News (http://bit.ly/yu3yzd ) reports Samantha and Panda get along well. Samantha will gently scratch under the bunny's chin and share her food.

Officials at the zoo say Samantha has always had a gentle personality. She was hand-raised and was more comfortable around humans even when Rudy was alive.

___

Information from: Erie Times-News, http://www.goerie.com