Thursday, August 22, 2013

Gorilla Kiss

Social structure is everything when it comes to gorillas. And Olympia is the dominant female in the troop at the North Carolina Zoo. So I was surprised to see her allowing her son Apollo to go over and play kissy face with Jamani! Mother Olympia Gorilla is not even concerned. For a moment there, it looked like she was going to reach out her hand and put a stop to this, but no. She drew back her hand and just sat there nonplussed as Apollo got closer and closer to his Auntie Jamani. Olympia does not tend to get too fussed about what either of the kiddies are doing.

More photographs of the baby gorillas.
Jamani of course has her own son, Bomassa, who has just turned a year old. And he is not far away. He is just out of view in this photo, right behind Jamani's head. He's just about to reach out his hand towards his little half-brother, almost as if to try and separate Apollo from his mom. At one point, Bomassa opened up that toothy mouth of his and got a little biting action in. But Apollo ignored it all, and just kept on communing with Jamani. Eventually they reached out and kissed by touching their lips together. This touching of lips is a frequent occurrence among our North Carolina gorillas. They are sweet animals. It's fun to be able to photograph the ways gorillas show affection for each other.