For the first time in decades, there are baby gorillas at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro. Follow their progress here as they grow, through the work of Chapel Hill Photographer Windy Sawczyn
Monday, April 15, 2013
Milestone for North Carolina Gorilla
Baby Gorilla Chest Pound
Exciting times at the North Carolina Zoo! Bomassa Gorilla, now eight months old, has started to beat his chest!
In lieu of video, I give you a collage of six shots of him practicing this maneuver. He does not quite have it down and is still working on his coordination. I am not entirely sure that he is making any noise. Typically, a male gorilla will beat his chest with cupped hands, not with fists. This creates a loud sound, which serves to scare off an intruder, or to let a challenging gorilla know he has stepped into the wrong territory. Sometimes the chest beating is used as a means of communicating a gorilla's whereabouts to the rest of the troop. As yet, I have not observed Bomassa's little brother Apollo beating his chest, and nor have the keepers. But it won't be long. Remember, the two gorilla boys were born in the very same month!