Monday, October 22, 2012

Gorillas Keep Warm in the Straw

The gorilla babies are starting to play with straw!  On a cold day, the mom gorillas will forage for some food at the Forest Glade exhibit at the North Carolina Zoo and then they'll head  over to where some heaters are installed above the viewing glass. The staff brings in fresh straw every day, first thing in the morning,  and lays it there by the glass. Gorilla moms Jamani and Olympia will pick up the straw and spread it around. Then they curl up in that straw to keep warm for their after-meal snooze.  At first the babies would jerk their arms and hands around, not knowing exactly how to control their limbs. But now the older baby, Bomassa, born August 4, 2012,  is able to manipulate that straw and play with it, making a mess all over his fur, and wrapping pieces around his legs and arms.  Here is the delicate foot of Bomassa , complete with opposable big toe, and the strong and large hand of his mother.