From the Archives: Gorilla Saves Boy

By Jewelyan Jones
|  Tuesday, Aug 16, 2011  |  Updated 11:40 PM CDT
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On Aug. 16, 1996, a 3-year-old boy fell into the gorilla's den at the Brookfield Zoo. A female, Binti Jua, protected the boy from other animals until zookeepers could rescue him.

On Aug. 16, 1996, a 3-year-old boy fell into the gorilla's den at the Brookfield Zoo. A female, Binti Jua, protected the boy from other animals until zookeepers could rescue him.

Tuesday marks a special anniversary that warmed the hearts of many animal lovers.

On Aug. 16, 1996, a small boy climbed a railing and fell 18 feet into the gorilla den at the Brookfield Zoo.

An 8-year-old gorilla, Binti Jua, picked up the unconscious boy and protected him from the other primates. The act of kindness came as a surprise to many of the guests who said they feared Binti Jua would maul the 3-year-old.

Her heroic deed gained her national attention. Binti was named Newsweek's Hero of the Year and one of People's most intriguing people.

Binti Jua still resides at Brookfield Zoo. The boy was never identified.

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