Koko the gorilla doesn’t have any children of her own but she’s absolutely in her element playing the devoted mum to a pair of fluffy kittens.
In this wonderful video, Koko, a 38-year-old lowland gorilla, actually ‘purrs’ with pleasure as she gently scoops the kittens from their nesting crate and cuddles them in her arms.
In the background, you can hear the voice of Dr Penny Patterson of The Gorilla Foundation, who’s been working with Koko for 30 years; Koko and Penny use sign language to communicate with each other.
You can hear Penny’s delight when Koko, holding the kittens tenderly to her huge chest, lets out a big gorilla purring sound. And later, you see Koko playing with the kittens, tickling their tummies and rubbing their heads with a gentleness that belies her enormous size.
But our favourite moment of all is nearer the end, when Koko’s holds a piece of toy cake, takes a pretend bite and then offers it to the kittens to take a pretend nibble, too.