Patrick's biggest problem now is not teenagers, though; it's other gorillas. He "shoves the boys around and he nips at the girls," Holloway said, adding that, over his 18-year stay at the zoo, caretakers have often tried to get him to socialize with other gorillas.
He tolerates the other gorillas in his large indoor night quarters, but only from the comfort of his private bachelor pad room within the area.
Some media reports have suggested that he seriously hurt other gorillas, but Holloway countered that "no medical care" was ever needed after Patrick displayed annoyance over the other gorillas’ presence.
Lynn Kramer, vice president of animal operations for the Dallas Zoo, said, "It's become clear that he prefers to live a solitary life."
Holloway, Kramer and others suspect that his past is to blame. Born at the Bronx Zoo, Patrick was neglected by his mother and subsequently hand-raised by humans at the Toronto Zoo.
Now it's time for another move, since Dallas Zoo needs to introduce its two newest male gorillas, Shana and Zola, to current male residents B'wenzi and Juba. Together, the males will likely form a cohesive bachelor troop.
Patrick, on the other hand, has about 6 months ahead of him of attempted acclimation and socializing with other gorillas at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. John Davis, curator of mammals at Riverbanks, said that the zoo recently spent several months getting another male gorilla, Ajari, used to his home there "and the introduction process has gone very well."
Patrick will be given the opportunity to smell, see and touch the other gorillas with a protective fence separating the primates, which live to about 50-60 years of age in captivity. Davis and the Dallas Zoo staff hope that a change of scenery and a new bunch of gorillas might stimulate Patrick into changing his ways.
Holloway said, "We have to give him that chance." But she quickly added that, "If he stays the same, that's OK too. A lot of people aren't very social with each other either."