Bomassa has been practicing climbing for ages, because his mother has allowed him the freedom. Reports from behind the scenes indicate that when mother and son are in their private quarters, Jamani is happy to let Bomassa climb on his own. She has blessed this activity for many months now, and he has gotten very strong. It used to be that when the gorillas would come out in the mornings, Bomassa would settle in to nurse from his mama and would go right to sleep. He'd be exhausted after a hard morning of climbing.
Jamani does not always stay right with Bomassa as he perches precariously atop the structure. Here above, he finds it convenient to put his foot on her face as he tries to stabilize himself. You can see the entire tree below. I am guessing the very tops of the tree are a good 12 to 15 feet off the ground.
It can be scary to watch. But Bomassa has it under control. Though strongly motivated he is very tentative. He inches along, little by little, grabbing one handhold and not letting go until he knows he's secure.
Below he's attached only at one point of contact and searches very carefully for another before he lets go.
When Bomassa summits Mount Tree, he hangs out where his mom is resting.
But that is not his goal so he does not stay long. Below you see our young blackback first put one foot down on the branch, and then he just lifts his last foot off the platform and gingerly moves forward. He is learning all about how long his limbs are, and what he's capable of. It's exciting to watch him discover his abilities! And yeah, that's his mom yawning in the photo immediately below. You can just barely see her open mouth on the right. She's not worried. She believes in her son!