Perfectly calm, the gorilla lays the unconscious bundle in front of the door. When she gets up, touching scenes play out.

The boy was alert and crying by the time the paramedics reached him. He had to overcome the initial shock and was then taken away to be treated in hospital, where he made a full recovery. He could hardly have landed in better hands. Although Binti-Jua did not have much mothering of her own as an infant, she was taken in by other female apes who groomed and socialized her. She later learned the nurturing instinct, which ulimately saved the little boy’s life.

The images and story of such an incredible rescue got out and within days camera crews and reporters from all over the globe assembled at the Brookfield Zoo to film Binti-Jua in her enclosure. People were so overcome with gratitude and admiration that they made monetary donations and offered to adopt her. A Chicago grocer even went so far as to offer 25 pounds of free bananas.

Binti-Jua’s rescue action 21 years ago was recently recalled by some people when a similar incident took place at the Cincinnati Zoo in May, 2016. A four-year-old boy, who was visiting the zoo with his family, caused quite an uproar when he slipped away from his parents, crawled under wire fencing and fell four meters down into the moat of a gorilla enclosure. Unfortunately, it had a much sadder outcome: the gorilla was shot for fear the child’s life was in danger. You can read more about this particular incident here.