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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Bomassa Scales the Heights!

Major Milestone for Baby Bomassa Gorilla

Bomassa Gorilla of the North Carolina Zoo is climbing all the way up! Yes, that's our boy, all the way up there on the top left, mouthing on the stub of a branch. Directly below him, Acacia, set to become a first time mom this month,  gazes up at him. And on the right, some ways distant,  Jamani hangs out. She is not that concerned. Obviously, Bomassa has demonstrated to her that he is an able climber. This was all happening yesterday, July 3, between heavy downpours, so those logs are not even dry!
Acacia looks up at Bomassa while mother Jamani has a rest on the left
At fifteen pounds, Bomassa is a little smaller than his younger half-brother Apollo. But in terms of skill, big brother is way ahead. He started beating his chest some months ago; Apollo has yet to do so. Bomassa seems steadier on his feet, and seems to get around a little more quickly. It's possible that Apollo too is climbing up the structure everyone calls the tree, but I've not yet seen it.

Bomassa turns one year old soon. Follow him on Twitter!
You would think he would have trouble negotiating those big fat logs, but no.  His small arms, hands and feet  can handle them very well as he scales upwards. Of course he might reach down for his mom once in awhile, or check to see that she's nearby. 
Bomassa reaches down towards his mama
Once Bomassa goes all the way up on top, he can just sit and relax up there with his mom. His dad, the 21 year old N'kosi, makes a nest up there frequently. Visitors observing this often make allusion to the King of the Hill. But he's a self-assured silverback and does not seem to mind sharing the perch every now and then. With Bomassa climbing so skilfully already, at only ten months old, there's no telling what he'll be up to next time you come out and see him at the zoo!  
Jamani and Bomassa chillin' on the top of  the tree