Monday, March 4, 2013

Gorilla Social Structure-the Father

The role of the father in the gorilla troop
Nkosi Gorilla takes excellent care of his two sons. He checks in on them every so often to be sure all is well.   Pictured here,  he is stopping by to visit briefly with Jamani's Bomassa.  Towering over, he reached down to look  his boy  right in the eye.  See the enlargement below. What a look of awe on Bomassa's tiny young face!

What else does the father do? As silverback, Nkosi mediates disputes between the females. Each of them has a stronger connection with him, than she has with the other ladies. These days, Oympia is still coming after Jamani to try and get hold of Bomassa's little leg and cart him away. When Nkosi observes this, he usually comes over to intervene.

Were the troop living in the wild, Nkosi would be the protector of the entire troop and would threaten intruders by charging towards them,  or by beating his chest.

He would decide the travel arrangements of the troop and would keep them moving through the forest to find a good food source for the day.  But here in the Forest Glade, plentiful food is  provided. Be there at 11:30 or 1:30 to observe the feeding fest. The keepers go up on top of the rock wall and hurl vegetables down. It's quite a sight to see. Nkosi Gorilla always positions himself right underneath and makes sure to grab some of the best and biggest morsels for himself. After all, he has 410 pounds to nourish.