Though he had initial feelings of trepidation, Damian was fairly certain Djalta and Ima would at least recognize him, though he wasn’t sure how they would react to him otherwise. However, when it came to Victoria meeting the two gorillas it was a completely different story. She was a complete stranger and full-grown male gorillas could be somewhat unpredictable.
They are large, strong, and can be territorial, so anticipating how they would react when Damian and Victoria approached them in the wild was extremely difficult. Damian had to push his valid concerns aside momentarily, as he was getting ahead of himself. He had not yet even located his old friends in the vast, African wildlife reserve!
The Search for Old Friends
Throughout the process of raising them, Damian developed an especially strong bond with the two male gorillas, Djalta and Ima. He helped raise them and so naturally, he wanted to introduce them to Victoria after the couple was married. Within a few months, they were off on a trip to Gabon.
It had been over a decade since Damian had been face-to-face with the two gorillas after the two were reintroduced into the wild at the park in Gabon. He was excited to relocate his old friends and see how they were doing in the wild habitat they had been introduced to.
Butterflies in His Stomach
Despite his fond memories of Djalta and Ima, Damian felt nervous about reuniting with them. They had developed what felt like a strong and lasting relationship while he was raising the two gorillas at Howletts, but he felt a sense of unease nonetheless as the last time they saw him was years ago.
What if Djalta and Ima did not remember him? What if they wanted nothing to do with him once he found them? What if he could not find them at all? They had been living in the wild for a few years already and there was no way he could know how they would react.
Trip to Gabon
As Damian and Victoria boarded the plane to Gabon, his feelings of excitement rushed back to him. Fond memories of his old friends, Djalta and Ima, came to him in waves. He couldn’t wait to see them again. At the same time, he had Victoria along with him and he couldn’t help but feel nervous for her.
To be sure that everything would be safe for Victoria, the couple took along a team of experts which helped to quell some anxieties, but there still remained a tension in the air. This was still a risky endeavor, and it was nevertheless unclear how successful their expedition would be.
The Search Begins
Damian and Victoria knew they had to let go of their fears and accept whatever the future had in store for them regarding their meeting with the gorillas. One of them very well could get hurt, especially Victoria, but they could not come all this way and not at least try to find the two gorillas.
If they let fear take control, they would never have the amazing opportunity to potentially forge a relationship with these two gorillas. Damian wanted to reconnect with them, but he also wanted Victoria to meet them. The journey to find the gorillas would be long and difficult, but they were up to the task.