Thursday, January 24, 2013

Don't Fall Off your Mother

Those gorilla baby feet are working hard. If you look closely when you go and visit the baby gorillas at the NC Zoo, you find out the babies don't have it so easy. Human babies spend a lot of time being held by their moms, by their carseats, by their strollers, by their dads, by their big brothers and big sisters. They just kind of glide through life for a few months.

For gorilla babies, things are different. Sometimes the gorilla mom will hold the baby in her arms, yes. But for a very large part of the day, the baby gorilla is on the back of the mother and hanging on tightly so as not to fall off as the mother saunters around looking for food. This is from a very young age, too. Bomassa has been hanging onto the fur of his mother Jamani for months and months now and he is not even six months old yet. Here you can see Jamani tenderly reaching for Bomassa's hand, in preparation for lifting him off her back so that she can hold him. But see that adorable little foot of his? He has his toes curled up and actively grabbing onto her long fur. Even when they are sleeping, gorilla babies work hard to stay on top of their moms.