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Monday, February 18, 2013

When Gorillas Learn to Walk

Gorilla escape! Baby Bomassa is scrambling away from his mother. She is not far away, just out of the picture to the left. At six months old, and 11 pounds, he is ready to go, go, go! But Jamani Gorilla will grab him back pretty quickly, when  she senses that he is getting too close to the other mom.  He of course wants to go to Olympia, because he wants to entice her baby, his half-brother Apollo to come out and play.
I spoke at length with the keepers and learned what happens when Bomassa is off-exhibit, meaning when he is in the private area where the gorillas sleep at night and spend their days when the weather is cold or nasty. There are times when Bomassa is alone with his mother in their own secure area backstage. Bomassa then runs WILD, climbing incessantly and zooming around, fully exploring the surroundings at top speed. Jamani sees no reason to hold back Bomassa  when he is not in danger of another kidnapping.  He wears himself out back there, says the zookeeper, who looks forward to coming in of a morning, to find out what the little tyke has been up to. Those energetic mornings explain why we often see him sleeping on his mother's back by the time he gets outdoors. But on this warm and delightful day in Asheboro, North Carolina,  it was great to see Bomassa having so much fun on the green grass.