- translated from Spanish/not authored by me
"Today is the tenth anniversary of the death of the as of yet only known albino gorilla, the springboard that brought researcher Jordi Sabater Pi to the public eye. He had a prolific career in fields such as anthropology, primatology and ethology, in which he was noted for his formidable powers of observation, illustration and innovative theories.
When hunters carried a baby gorilla as white as snow and only two years old to the Zoological Centre of Experimentation Ikunde in Equatorial Guinea, Jordi Sabater Pi (Barcelona, 1922-2009), became responsible for the installation, he undertstood he had in his hands a singluar primate. Genetics had deprived him of melanin, a pigment that offers protection from the sun.
Conscious of the risk to the little furry ball’s life, Sabater Pi paid 15,000 pesetas to the hunters and took charge of breeding on 1 October, 1966. Named Nfumu Ngui (White Gorilla fang in African language Fang), he adapted well to a life in captivity and dealt well with humans. A month later, Sabater Pi transfered the primate to Barcelona (Spain), where, after being on the cover of National Geographic , Snowflake became the best ambassador for the city.
"The discover was a curiosity in his career, yet Jordi was much more than the discoverer of Snowflake. He was a pioneer in the study of primates and introduced the fields of ethology and primatology to Spain", comments SINC Montserrat Colell, professor of Ethology at the University of Barcelona, who worked with the Spanish researcher during the last years of his life.
"The albino gorilla was the best press spokesman for Jordi, even though he found Snowflake accidentally", adds Daniel Turbón, professor of Anthropology at the same university.
The prolific scientific career of Jordi Sabater Pi began almost by chance. When he was still a teenager, he moved with his family in 1939 to Equatorial Guinea to work as a foreman on a farm cottages” (read more in Spanish).
(Source: Sinc via @Lucy_MEH on Twitter)