Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Gorilla Family

Nkosi the Silverback looks over her shoulder as Jamani holds Bomassa. For some reason, Bomassa spent most of the day inverted, being held upside down by his mom, or hanging upside down from her abdomen as she moved about the Forest Glade on all fours. Our faithful readers will know that there are more in the family, Olympia and her son Apollo, and Acacia, who has gone off birth control and could be carrying a little gorilla surprise at this very moment.

What happens when the boys get older? They will reach a point in maturity where they will no longer be able to get along with their dad. At this point, for gorillas in the wild, an arrangement must be made. Some of the young sons will transfer. They will just wander off on their own one day, and either join another troop, or find a lone female and start a troop of their own. Or there could be a battle for control of the troop; sometimes it is the eldest member who goes off into the forest after being fought off by the strongest of the sons.

What will happen at the NC Zoo? The boys will be transferred to another zoo, at the age of somewhere around six to eight years old. Or another possibility is that a new enclosure could be designed and built right here in NC, and readied to house a bachelor troop.  Male gorillas can get along okay if there are not females present!