Intellectually, we know how closely related we are to the great apes, at least genetically. It’s another thing for the evidence to be clearly presented to us by nature, though.
A gorilla named Anaka has strange pigmentation on one hand that is a truly eye-opening genetic glitch.
Anaka turns a big 6 today! You can always pick her out of Taz’s family group because of the unique pink pigmentation on her fingers. #OnlyZooATL
Anaka is 6 years old and lives at Zoo Atlanta, where employees regularly share photos of her to their Facebook page. Some recent ones highlighted her hand, and people began to point out how the lack of hair and pigment made her fingers look as if they could belong to a white person.
Plenty of commenters have suggested the gorilla might have vitiligo, a human skin condition that can appear at any time in a person’s life and causes changes in pigments in swaths of human skin.
The zoo doesn’t believe that’s what caused the anomaly in Anaka, though.
“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.”
Anaka is the 22nd gorilla born in The Ford African Rain Forest (the gorilla exhibit) and is a “pretty active little gorilla” who can be seen “often riding piggyback on her brother and sisters,” according to the zoo’s website.
Below are a few people’s reactions on Facebook.
Others are quick to point out that gorilla’s hands have always resembled human ones – and that a pink pigment doesn’t make them look more human, but more caucasian.
If you ask me, it’s being able to clearly see the fingernails that’s doing it, but I can see the second point and it’s valid.