Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Toileting Habits of Gorillas

More than you ever wanted to know about gorillas

Everything goes in the mouth these days as infant gorillas Bomassa and Apollo develop their teeth. Usually Bomassa sports a more docile expression, but I happened to catch him just as he was trying to do some damage to this branch. The boys are practicing using their hands, and manipulating whatever they can pick up. And seriously, almost everything does indeed end up in the mouth.


If you look very closely at the lower photo, you might be able to discern what Bomassa is exploring with his tongue. Daddy Gorilla Nkosi seems to have made the boy a little present and apparently is quite proud of his son for investigating properly! LOL! Truth be told, Bomassa does not seem to be swallowing. He is just chewing it up and spitting it out again. Is there a danger of illness? The keepers tell me no, not really. I specifically asked if E. Coli is a concern, but no, the intestines of the gorilla don't tend to harbor that particular germ.

The gorillas pay no particular attention to where they make their deposits, by the way. Whereas some animals are very careful about where they drop, and try to keep their eating and sleeping areas clean, gorillas just go whenever and wherever they gotta. Often they are eating when they urinate. And the ladies will definitely urinate right near the straw they nap in.  Nkosi tends to use the grass area for defacating, while the ladies often make in the small pond, for some unknown reason. And the babies? Well you have seen how they spend their days, they ride on their mother's backs much of the time. And yeah, that is where they go, right on mama's fur. What we mothers go through for our children!