Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Gorilla Friends

A New Bag and a Friend for Acacia Gorilla

Acacia is sporting a sack on her back. On burlap bag day, she loves to pick up one of the bags and throw it over the top of her head, or over her back, and walk around with it.  The bags are part of a rotation of enrichment devices. Each day the gorillas come out and find some things to play with. They each seem to have their favorites. N'kosi used to like to sit in the big tubs. And the boys like the rings. Acacia loves those bags.

Acacia, center comes to visit Jamani, left. Bomassa is over on the right edge

But that's not the big news. Even more fascinating during my visit last week, was Acacia's friendship with Jamani. Something of a loner, Acacia is constantly on the outs with Olympia, the dominant female in the troop. But Acacia gets along fabulously with young Bomassa. And here she is nosing up to Bomassa's mother Jamani. This was such a treat to see!  Jamani is relaxing in the pond, near her boy. She is munching on grasses and leaves when Acacia comes over to play kissy face. Acacia hung out for a good little while and the two ladies seemed to be enjoying each other's company.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Gorillas Playing Chase

Squabbling Gorilla Brothers

we have seen a-plenty, but now the boys are starting to chase each other and having a lot of fun doing it. The pond is drained, and inside the pond is a big rock. Sometimes the entire family likes to gather there on the curved floor of the empty pond. Last week, the boys were having fun chasing each other around the rock. I managed to catch Bomassa's expression just as he realized Apollo was going to come after him.
Bomassa peers at his little brother

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Gorilla Boy with No Fear

Apollo Gorilla jumps right in

He still is loving to go bother his brother, who still generally hangs out near mom. Here you see the back of the daring boy. He has just jumped on top of Bomassa who is snuggling with Jamani. The fearless younger brother Apollo got a little frisky, apparently, because Jamani is using both of her big feet to grab hold of Apollo's little foot. She did not succeed in keeping him at bay, and ended up standing up trying to fend Apollo off. She smacked at his face a few times, but desist he did not. So she grabbed Bomassa and ran off with him in search of some peaceful corner. It will be fascinating to watch how Jamani manages when Apollo is older, bigger, and stronger.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Essence of Gorilla Beauty

Acacia has such a beautiful face. She is very friendly to the visitors and often comes close to check people out.  She is still on the outs with Olympia. She gingerly moved over to where a lot of straw was lying. Suddenly she grabbed a big pile, and ran off like a shot, so fast that I could not even capture the action. It almost seemed like she is nervous that Olympia would have something to say about this. But Olympia and the other gorillas were off nosing around in the weeds and probably did not even see Acacia making her grab for the straw.
Acacia Gorilla, born January 14, 1995

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Ring Reappears at the Zoo in Asheboro

The gorilla brothers are old enough to have some fun

these days and they are constantly playing at something or other.  You have read about the rings earlier. The keepers bring in the rings every so often. If the rings were around every day, they might get old, but instead they are a source of fascination. Here Bomassa investigates one pretty thoroughly.  He sits quietly exploring it with his mouth. Then of course, along comes little brother. Apollo has decided he shall have the ring, so he reaches for it and grabs hold. Then he hoists it up over his shoulders and off he goes.
Bomassa mouths the ring

Apollo takes the ring

Apollo runs off with the toy, Bomassa grabbing towards it with his feet