Friday, October 19, 2012

Gorilla Caught Trying to Steal Baby Again

Olympia the Mom Gorilla has been caught in the act. Yes, she is at it again, she apparently wants to get Bomassa away from his mother Jamani. You've been reading here about the five day siege which began with zookeepers arriving early one morning to find that Olympia had both gorilla babies and Jamani had none. No information was available as to exactly what had happened. Nothing had been caught on tape and park rangers  had not seen the event.
Gorilla tries to steal baby
Olympia , left, with Apollo on her back, grabs Bomassa's leg

Gorilla moms will occasionally abandon their babies, so there certainly was the possibility that Olympia was only helping out after Jamani had decided she was unable to care for her son. But no, as we saw, Jamani was only too happy to get Bomassa back and in fact, nursed him constantly for hours. Nor do these photos, taken this week, show a mother who might have engaged in any willing surrender.

As always, larger versions of these photographs and others,  are available for viewing at the Zoo Baby Prints Gallery.

Above,  we see Olympia facing off with Jamani, and reaching around to grasp the tiny arm of sweet Bomassa. As I was photographing, she grabbed more and more of that arm. Below, we see Jamani fighting off the attack in her gentle way with her left arm pushing away Olympia's right. Jamani, bigger than Olympia, is nonetheless a very docile being, while Olympia seems a little more nervous, and asserts her dominance constantly. Olympia is the daughter of the famous Willie B of the Atlanta Zoo who took the role there of strong leader of his troop, after having been alone for the first 27 years of his captivity. Maybe she inherited some of that spunk. Hopefully Jamani will keep standing up for herself and her baby Bomassa.

Gorilla moms and babies
Jamani, right,  presses down on Olympia's arm, as Olympia's large hand grasps Bomassa's leg