Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tormenting Big Brother

When I looked in at the zoo recently, Apollo was tormenting his brother every chance he got. Remember, the boys are only three weeks apart-yet one is the bigger and the other is the elder. The weight check at the end of October showed Apollo to be at about 21 pounds, about three pounds heavier than big brother Bomassa. Lately, Bomassa seems to cling to his mom Jamani much of the day. When Apollo comes over, Jamani patiently pushes that little squirt away! She might hold Apollo's little leg with her big hand and thus immobilize him for awhile so she and Bomassa can get just a little peace. She's a tired mom and just wants to rest! That's hard to do, when Apollo is constantly plaguing big brother.

Sometimes she even swats at Apollo to drive him away. She swatted pretty hard about eight times before Apollo ran away scared and stayed away for a long time. But then an hour later he was back to grabbing at Bomassa. Jamani had come to the sheltered window with Bomassa to curl up in the straw and have a nap. Fearless Apollo came over and picked up Bomassa's toes and started to bite them. He also would stick his nose down in Bomassa's private area. Might have been sniffing, might have been biting! Hard to tell when you can't get a good view. Olympia (Apollo's mom), meanwhile, sits unconcerned and nonchalant; she doesn't get involved in the boys' interactions at all.

Most interesting of all, the wheelbarrow pose, as seen above. Twice Jamani picked up Apollo's legs which left the one year old gorilla having to support himself on his arms. Can you see Bomassa hanging onto his mother's back, while Apollo kicks at Jamani's face? The social dynamics at the zoo lately are fascinating!