Kathryn S. Hoerbelt, a Grand Island native, is one of 10 area college students who spent last summer observing the behavioral patterns of a gorilla at the Buffalo Zoo as part of a research project.
Hoerbelt and others studied factors in the environment that influence the psychological well being of a single male Western Lowland Gorilla.
The gorilla being studied had two names, O.J. and Rich, said Hoerbelt.
During a brief formal presentation of research results last week at the zoo, Hoerbelt decided to show her appreciation to the gorilla. She presented him with a handmade quilt.
Hoerbelt made the multicolored and textured quilt last summer.
She learned the craft as a young girl from her mother.
"It's compensation for my participation," she said. "I think when winter comes, he'll enjoy it."
She graduated from Fredonia State College last winter with a psychology degree.