An adorable gorilla named Anaka recently celebrated her 6th birthday at the Zoo in Atlanta among employees. The occasion was a huge deal and many employees snapped pictures of the ape and shared them of Facebook and needless to say this big girl went viral for the most shocking thing. Many congratulated her but there were a few that were very sharp-eyed and noticed a very fascinating detail.

Anaka has a very unique patch of pigment on her hand that looks very human-like and that’s what everyone had been noticing. Which is understandable, considering that gorillas have opposable thumbs. Interestingly, like all primates, they also have individualized fingerprints and toeprints, which sometimes may be used for identification purposes. Unlike most animals we’re used to seeing, primates have fingernails and toenails rather than claws. They are used for opening and scraping things, cleaning, and scratching.

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Image credits: Zoo Atlanta

According to the zoo, not only is Anaka’s skin unique, but her personality is as well. “[She’s] often barking at her mom and others to get a prime spot for food and juice,” they wrote on their website. “She is often seen riding piggyback on her brother and sisters.”

Image credits: Zoo Atlanta
Image credits: Zoo Atlanta
Image credits: Zoo Atlanta
Image credits: Zoo Atlanta
Image credits: Zoo Atlanta

Some people were thinking Anaka has vitiligo, a long-term skin condition characterized by patches of the skin losing their pigment. But Morena Lale commented that she wrote to the zoo about it and they didn’t confirm it, “I asked this question … and this is their reply: ‘Well, her skin pigment has always been like that and hasn’t changed over the years, so we think it’s just a cool birthmark.’”

Image credits: Zoo Atlanta
Image credits: Zoo Atlanta

Here’s what many had to say about Anaka’s unique attribute.


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