Admittedly, Mum and Dad are a lot less hairy. And smaller. And not half as grumpy. But lack of resemblance aside, Digit the gorilla has always been one of the family.
Pierre and Elaine Thivillon, who own a zoo near Lyon, have looked after their ‘little one’ since Digit was abandoned as a baby.
What started out as a bit of bottle-feeding turned into a full-time adoption, with the young gorilla having the run of the couple’s apartment. The family album is full of snaps of Digit cuddling up to the Thivillons and even pecking them on the lips.
But now 13, and a hefty 176lb, it’s time for this lumbering adolescent to leave the nest. Mum and Dad are close to retirement and they think it is time for Digit to find out about life as a gorilla rather than a human.
Like many parents they are giving their child a hand to get on the property ladder – they plan to open a gorilla sanctuary which will become Digit’s new home.