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The Great Apes

Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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#31

A very interesting article, that shows how gorilla groups interact with each other(and how the data gets recorded), and the behaviours Silverbacks use to avoid physical conflict, something that can happen anyway.

By the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund Blog:

When gorillas groups interact, anything can happen

During our daily mountain gorilla monitoring, Fossey Fund trackers and researchers often get to see interesting behaviors, all of which are recorded for our scientific database. One type of behavior that is important, since it can lead to group changes and even injuries, is an interaction between two groups.


Our trackers and research assistants take detailed notes, photographs and other information, and produce reports with moment-by-moment action like this one, from an interaction between Giraneza’s group and Mafunzo’s group, on March 10.

Our tracker team that follows Mafunzo’s gorilla group reached them at 9:06 that morning and found the gorillas resting. But at 9:18, they saw Giraneza’s group approaching, so they called the trackers of Giraneza's team, to let them know. Giraneza's trackers reached the spot at 9:37 a.m., and within a few minutes, silverback Mafunzo approached within 7 meters of silverback Giraneza, taking a strut stance (a show of aggression). However, the females of both groups remained calm and in the background.

*This image is copyright of its original author

Then the action started, as recorded by our staff:

At 9:23 a.m., Mafunzo replied (to Giraneza’s strut stance) by hooting and chest beating.

At 9:29 a.m., Giraneza slapped the ground at Mafunzo, who replied by hooting and chest beating.

At 9:31 a.m., Giraneza took a strut stance posture at Mafunzo, who replied at 9:33 a.m., by smashing plants.

At 9:34 a.m., Giraneza smashed plants at Mafunzo. He chest beat again at him at 9:36 a.m.

At 9:36 a.m., Mafunzo withdrew and he bit young female Ubuhamya for resting.

At 9:42 a.m., Mafunzo hooted and chest beat in 30 meters from Giraneza who replied by chest beating.

At 9:44 a.m., Mafunzo hooted and chest beat in 40 meters from Giraneza who replied at 9:47 a.m., by chest beating.

From 9:49 a.m. to 10:04 a.m., Giraneza chest beat 3 times, slapped the ground twice and smashed plants once at Mafunzo.

At 9:52 a.m., adult female Nyandwi aggressed Mafunzo.

At 9:55 a.m., Mafunzo’s group started moving toward the Kupoteza area while Giraneza’s group moved down to the Munoga area.

At 10:06 a.m., Mafunzo hooted and chest beat at Giraneza from 100 meters away. Giraneza responded by smashing plants.

At 10:08 a.m., Mafunzo slapped the ground at  Giraneza  from 100 meters away.

At 10:10 a.m., Giraneza chest beat at Mafunzo.

At 10:14 a.m., Mafunzo hooted and chest beat from 200 meters away. Giraneza replied by slapping the ground.

At 10:19 a.m., Giraneza chest beat at Mafunzo.

The interaction ended at 10:25 a.m., with the two groups separated by 200 meters. When our trackers left, the groups were separated by 1.5 kilometers. Both groups were calm and feeding. During the interaction, there were no transfers, no wounds and they moved only 20 meters. But, as seen in this report, there were many displays, all of which were carefully counted and recorded by our staff.
‘Like night-watchmen they patrol the dark nights; marching with intent and chasing all those unwanted into the shadows…those that do not run are removed’
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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#32

This is a clip of the Giant Grauer's Silverback called Maheshe, who is the father of the current silverback Chimanuka, this clip is from the early 90's around 1992 or 1993. Maheshe can be also seen in the Mutual Of Omaha program called: Twilight Of The Gorilla, he was just enormous and an absolutely magnificent physical specimen.

This info is by Don Scala. Video by Bob Fairbanks.



‘Like night-watchmen they patrol the dark nights; marching with intent and chasing all those unwanted into the shadows…those that do not run are removed’
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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#33

All credits to Alan Goodall.

This is a video that I made in 1988 when I was Director of Karisoke Research Centre - after the murder of Dian Fossey (who I had first worked with in 1970 when I began my research there)


This was to be used by the then Digit Fund (which had been set up by Dian) for promotional and fund raising purposes.

It had been agreed in a new Management Plan with ORTPN (the National Parks Authorities in Rwanda in 1980’s) that Karisoke should be reserved as a Research Centre, and not part of the tourism section - and under separate management by the Digit Fund.

This agreement re the special status of Karisoke was always under pressure by the then Director of ORTPN, to allow tourists to visit - who paid their special fees to the park.



‘Like night-watchmen they patrol the dark nights; marching with intent and chasing all those unwanted into the shadows…those that do not run are removed’
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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#34

Again, credits to Alan Goodall.

This is the sad story of a young female gorilla - Jozi - in one of our study groups who had her hand caught in a wire snare. This was set in the forest by poachers to catch antelopes, but, as can be seen, these snares are not selective in what they catch.

This is a video that I made in 1988 when I was Director of Karisoke Research Centre - after the murder of Dian Fossey (who I had first worked with in 1970 when I began my research there)

This was to be used by the then Digit Fund (which had been set up by Dian) to raise awareness of the problems of poaching in the National Park - and to help them raise funds.

However, they decided that ‘it was too gruesome to show to people who may have just eaten dinner!” Considering the wide range of violence, death and destruction that one sees 24/7 on TV I found this very surprising!

As I later learned from my pygmy trackers in Kahuzi- Biega National Park in Zaire,  the issue of so-called poaching was much more complicated than we first realised. These forest had once been as much their home as it was to the elephants, antelopes and gorillas. The creation of a National Park immediately dispossesed them of their land - and left them nowhere to go, no way to feed their families and a loss of their skills and traditions.

Unfortunately, Dian never accepted this and so waged her own private war on the Batwa pygmies in the Virungas - with terrible consequences for both sides.



‘Like night-watchmen they patrol the dark nights; marching with intent and chasing all those unwanted into the shadows…those that do not run are removed’
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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#35

As usual, it's animals who pay the price of the human negligence...

Gorilla shot dead after 3-year-old falls into enclosure at Cincinnati Zoo:
A child was rescued and seriously injured after falling into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo Saturday, Cincinnati police and fire departments confirm.


The 3-year-old has been taken to the hospital. 

The 400-pound gorilla, 17-year-old Harambe, was shot and killed by the zoo's dangerous animal response team about 10 minutes after the boy first made it into the enclosure.

Zoo director Thayne Maynard said that the gorilla picked the boy up and dragged him around.

"It's a sad day all around," Maynard said. "The right choice was made. It was a difficult choice ... They made a tough choice and they made the right choice. Because they saved that little boy's life; it could have been very bad."

Cincinnati police Lt. Steve Saunders said the child is about 3 years old and fell on Saturday afternoon. The child isn't believed to have life-threatening injuries.

Witnesses said they saw a woman crying and that the child was conscious during the rescue.

Police were dispatched to the zoo at around 4 p.m.

The gorilla was not tranquilized because, when the animal is agitated, Maynard said, the tranquilizer may not take effect right away.

That kid's parents should be ashamed, because in comparison, no gorilla mother would let his toddler go on and be everywhere and, more importantly, no Silverback dad would even take his sight off his kids.

This is a photo of Harambe. Pic by Jeff McCurry.

*This image is copyright of its original author
‘Like night-watchmen they patrol the dark nights; marching with intent and chasing all those unwanted into the shadows…those that do not run are removed’
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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#36

Very interesting article from Dian Fossey Gorilla Found:

Oldest Silverback facing leadership challenge

The largest group of mountain gorillas monitored by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund has been led for almost 20 years by 37-year-old silverback Cantsbee, an historic gorilla who was first seen by Dian Fossey. She gave him his name when he was born in 1978.


But now, Cantsbee has reached elder status, and while he still seems healthy and strong, it is understandable for his leadership to be challenged. The challenge comes from his son, Gicurasi, and has gone up and down over the past year or so.

The first half of 2016 was marked by upswings in challenges by Gicurasi, who is younger, stronger and has already spent years leading the group’s protection and mating activities, though without “official” recognition from all group members.

One way that our staff recognizes leadership challenges is by observing the frequency of what are called “displacements,” in which the challenger crosses in front of the leader, or takes another dominant position in the group, and sees what reaction he gets from the elder leader. This year, such displacements have increased in number and a couple of them ended in physical fights, with clear submission by either Cantsbee or Gicurasi. Most of these episodes were won by Gicurasi, but Cantsbee showed surprisingly strong opposition two times.

There’s also a third silverback in the group, named “Kureba,” who has taken a clear stance in supporting Cantsbee, but recently he has remained peripheral to the group and doesn’t intervene. The support of Kureba seemed to have been crucial during the one time when Cantsbee rebelled strongly against Gicurasi, physically dominating his son by biting him on the back and forcing him to the ground for a few seconds. Another time Cantsbee refused to be passed by Gicurasi and sped up to keep the front position while the group was moving.

Despite these instances, it seems that Gicurasi is on the way toward full dominance. Our field staff, who know these gorillas intimately, feel that it is now time for Cantsbee to “retire” from dominance and finally allow Gicurasi to be accountable for group movements and protection. Given his age, elder Cantsbee can actually benefit from a subordinate position and will still be surrounded by many loyal group members.

“The Cantsbee and Gicurasi dominance shift is a detailed documentation on how gorillas deal with personal conflict and the overall successful strategies used to protect their group,” says Fossey Fund Gorilla Program Manager Veronica Vecellio.

Leading the largest group known

Cantsbee and Gicurasi lead the largest group of gorillas known, named after a much earlier silverback – the late Pablo. It currently contains 30 gorillas, after reaching a high of 65 gorillas in late 2006. The reduced size is mainly due to subportions of the group splitting to form new groups, plus the transfer of some females and some of the young silverbacks leaving to become solitary.


Even though we have been observing mountain gorilla groups for nearly 50 years, we have only a few examples of dominance shift between silverbacks, and all of those occurred due to a unique trigger (such as death of a silverback), rather than due to old age.

So the Cantsbee story is exceptional in this way, and in many others. We have monitored this group daily since 1992 and Cantsbee himself is one of the longest observed of all gorillas, monitored since his birth in 1978. The group’s history highlights most of we know about mountain gorilla social life and demography and yet it is giving us opportunities to reflect on what we still need to know about their individual variability, resilience in the face of change, and strategies for success.

“Being able to observe the gorillas for many hours every day gives us the opportunity to accurately document the shift in dominance, because it allows us to detect rare behaviors and reactions that last just a few seconds,” says Vecellio. “Most of the time, the two males actually keep a peaceful tolerance and a certain distance between themselves, so it would be hard to see that something is going on if you just observe them for short time. We are very curious to see how this will end and will never stop learning from them!”

Cantsbee and Gicurasi surrounded by group members. Despite the ongoing challenge for dominance, they maintain a mostly peaceful relationship. 

Photo by Edward Wright, post doctoral researcher at Karisoke.


*This image is copyright of its original author
‘Like night-watchmen they patrol the dark nights; marching with intent and chasing all those unwanted into the shadows…those that do not run are removed’
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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#37

Kubaha, the second ranking Silverback of Isabukuru's group.



‘Like night-watchmen they patrol the dark nights; marching with intent and chasing all those unwanted into the shadows…those that do not run are removed’
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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#38

Another one of Kubaha with members of Isabukuru's group. Credits to Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

*This image is copyright of its original author
‘Like night-watchmen they patrol the dark nights; marching with intent and chasing all those unwanted into the shadows…those that do not run are removed’
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#39

Info by Don Scala
The massive former Eastern Lowland(Grauer's) Silverback-Mishebere, Kahuzi Biega, 2002. Mishebere was a son of Mushamuka.

*This image is copyright of its original author
‘Like night-watchmen they patrol the dark nights; marching with intent and chasing all those unwanted into the shadows…those that do not run are removed’
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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#40

Isabukuru seen grooming his 3 year old son, Masunzu. Credits to Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International

*This image is copyright of its original author
‘Like night-watchmen they patrol the dark nights; marching with intent and chasing all those unwanted into the shadows…those that do not run are removed’
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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#41

Fighting between silverbacks in Titus group continues--Urwibutso has injuries on head, neck & hands. ‪#‎livefromkarisoke‬. Credits to Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

*This image is copyright of its original author
‘Like night-watchmen they patrol the dark nights; marching with intent and chasing all those unwanted into the shadows…those that do not run are removed’
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India brotherbear Offline
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#42

http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/monke...00791.html 
 
Gorilla Takes On Chimp At Jacksonville Zoo

By Deanna Fene
First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- A gorilla and a chimpanzee are both recovering
after a fight at the Jacksonville Zoo.

The gorillas and the chimps live just across the moat from each
other, which is usually a good barrier, since both fear the water and
neither knows how to swim.

One of the largest gorillas at the zoo, a 24-year-old male named
Quito, either fell into the moat or tried to cross it, and ended up
on the chimps side.

Dr. Nick Kapustin is the Zoo's Veterinarian. He says, "There was an
altercation and we have a chimp with Quito going into his territory
and the two got aggressive with each other."

Chimps are more aggressive, but much smaller. A 150-pound chimp named
Jackson went up against a more than 500-pound gorilla, named Quito,
and the chimp lost.

Kapustin says, "Jackson the chimp sustained some bite wounds and
lacerations and he was treated immediately."

Quito didn't have any physical wounds but apparently went underwater
when he was in the mote, which left him very sick.

Kapustin says, "He likely inhaled water into his lungs. That can
create some respiratory problems and that's what we're dealing with
now."

Both Quiot and Jackson are recovering in their indoor habitats and
both are expected to be okay.

The gorilla exhibit opened back in 1998 and zoo officials says this
is the first time they've ever had any problem of this nature.
 Grizzly  - Boss of the Woods.
        
  
             
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Italy Ngala Offline
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#43

Photo and information credits: Daryl Balfour
"Last post for today...it has been a long one! This is Guhonda the silverback, surveying his domain. Leader of the Sabyinyo Group named for the extinct volcano of the same name in the background, he has roamed these hillsides for the past 45 years and is the oldest and possibly biggest of all the silverbacks in the region. I have photographed him almost every year since my first visit to Rwanda in the early 2000s...certainly one of the most photogenic of a good looking bunch!"

*This image is copyright of its original author
"Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin." C. Darwin
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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#44

A couple more of the amazing images by Daryl Balfour.

Guhonda Silverback, Sabinyo group.

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author
‘Like night-watchmen they patrol the dark nights; marching with intent and chasing all those unwanted into the shadows…those that do not run are removed’
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Daryl Balfour:
Silverback Guhonda brushes past one of my guests on a narrow trail last Friday. Yes, you are meant to keep your distance, but the gorillas don't read the rules, don't care about them, and sometimes (usually) there's no place to move anyway. And to try to move too suddenly and get out of their path is more likely to stress the gentle apes than simply moving aside and allowing them to pass. Moments like this will live in my guests' memories forever, a positive spur to ensuring the conservation of these critically endangered animals. Animals such as Guhonda, the oldest silverback in the Volcanoes National Park, are true ambassadors for gorilla conservation.

*This image is copyright of its original author
‘Like night-watchmen they patrol the dark nights; marching with intent and chasing all those unwanted into the shadows…those that do not run are removed’
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