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The Great Apes

United States Polar Offline
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( This post was last modified: 01-11-2017, 09:43 AM by Polar )

So, female gorillas are entirely contradictory when it comes to moving groups?

In one moment, she won't allow her θ to get killed because that would be infanticide and a waste of time, but the next moment, she wants to move to another group even risking infanticide? Upset

Still doesn't make sense, even though the other gorilla seemed more dominant. First thing a mother wants to do is to protect her current child, but this is something else...
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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Credits to Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

Trackers are monitoring 2-1/2-year-old Masunzu who was recently separated from his mother Ikaze after she transferred to Musilikale's group. 

Masunzu

*This image is copyright of its original author

Despite concerns, Masunzu appears healthy and is playing with other gorillas in the group. Silverback Isabukuru is taking over the role of caregiver and has been grooming and playing with Masunzu.

Isabukuru and Keza gooming Masunzu.

*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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United States tigerluver Offline
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Perhaps great brain complexity allows the seemingly greater amount of confusion this mother gorilla is showing. Never heard of such behavior in other group living mammals.
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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From my reading of Dian Fossey's book, which sadly I don't have anymore, there are a couple of reasons for females to want to leave the group, even having subadults dependant of them.

- Blood relations with the dominant Silverback

This isn't as common now as it was in Dian's time because the population has grown. But if the female is a daughter, sister, half-sister, or cousin of the Silverback, it's on her instincts to leave the group.

- A low place in the group's hierarchy

As it happens with the males, the females also have a hierarchy, that is reflected on several things: their relation with the Dominant silverback, how close they sit to him, how much attention their kids get and how many times he mates with them. Also, the hierarchy of the female is seen in when she and her offspring feed, in relation to the other ones. A female low in the hierarchy would have to wait. This aspect is seen when there's some root or thing like that that is not abundant.
‘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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Following Cantsbee upon his historic return: By Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

The return of historic and elderly mountain gorilla silverback Cantsbee on Jan. 4 has given Fossey Fund trackers and researchers a lot to be happy about, and much to observe and to learn. A situation like this, where a dominant and elderly silverback has “disappeared” and re-appeared is quite unique and offers the opportunity for everyone to understand more about gorilla behavior.


On his second day back, Cantsbee was observed actively helping his group fend off an outside intruding group, leading females and youngsters in the group away from danger, moving well and looking strong. This interaction continued into the next day, but no injuries seemed to occur.

During the next few days, his group traveled some distance, presumably to get further away from the intruder group, and spent much of the weekend resting calmly. Cantsbee was observed being groomed by two of the females, just as they used to do. On the following day the group again interacted with another group, but the event ended without any consequences. Cantsbee and another silverback helped protect the females.

Staff happy and excited


“This has been a fantastic surprise for the new year,” says Felix Ndagijimana, director of the Fossey Fund’s Karisoke Research Center and Rwanda program. “We are so relieved to see Cantsbee alive and in a better shape than before. His return has left us with more questions than answers: Why did he leave? Where was he during all this time?”

Indeed, all of the researchers and trackers were surprised and overjoyed. “It is really unbelievable!” says Samedi Mucyo, gorilla monitoring and protection officer. “I was totally shocked and thought I was dreaming, and I kept asking myself if it is real! It took me time to understand that Cantsbee is still alive — it is like he is resurrected. From his birth he is always a surprise and he is like his name that Dian Fossey gave him. (Fossey thought his mother was a male until “he” gave birth, exclaiming “It can’t be.” The name then evolved into “Cantsbee.”)

*This image is copyright of its original author

Data technician Jean Bosco Ntirenganya, who worked in Pablo’s group for 10 years and who was there on the day of Cantsbee’s return says: “It is making us extremely happy to see Cantsbee back in his family. We are pleased that the other gorillas in the group received him enthusiastically without any aggression.”


Tracker Jean Damascene Hategekimana (“Fundi”) who has been with the Fossey Fund for 25 years, says: “As long as I have been working for Karisoke, it is my first time to see a dominant silverback leaving the group for a very long time and coming back. We are so happy!”

“We are very excited to continue the monitoring of the group and see if and how Cantsbee’s return will affect the group dynamics,” adds Ndagijimana.” I am very grateful to all the Fossey Fund field staff and the great support from the Rwandan Development Board, who searched tirelessly for Cantsbee after his disappearance.”
‘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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Credits to Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

Field update: Cantsbee is doing very well and was seen feeding high on a hypericum tree yesterday, which confirms his physical strength.

*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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Credits to Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

Even though Cantsbee's group is led by Gicurasi, many gorillas prefer to stay close to Cantsbee. Here Gutangara is grooming Cantsbee while Mukecuru stays at his side.

*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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Credits to Gorilla Doctors.

Gorilla Doctors vets performed a routine health check on the large Pablo group in Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda). The return of elderly silverback Cantsbee has restored stability to the large group.


Cantsbee has a remarkable history: longest-lived male ever recorded, leader of the largest troop any scientist has ever observed, and father of more offspring than any gorilla known to science.

We're so thrilled to see him alive and well!

Silverback Gicurasi

*This image is copyright of its original author

Cantsbee

*This image is copyright of its original author

Gutangara and her baby

*This image is copyright of its original author

Cantsbee and his son Gicurasi

*This image is copyright of its original author

Playful infant Ishyaka

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Silverback Ishavu

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Female Gutangara

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Blackback Ubwuzu carefully inspects his fingers 

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‘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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By the way, and before I forget about it, I've read that the company that made the documentary The gorilla King, about Silverback Titus, is preparing a documentary about the original group 5, observed by Dian Fossey and led by Silverback Beethoven.

Silverback Pablo was one of the dominant Silverbacks that broke off that group (the other was Shinda, son of Icarus, I think) and it will also be filmed as it is now with Cantsbee and Gicurasi. 

I'm really hoping for it now.
‘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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( This post was last modified: 02-06-2017, 11:17 PM by Tshokwane )

Credits to Gorilla Doctors.

Dr. Martin reports that #Lulengo group has fully recovered from a respiratory outbreak. He took a team to check on the group of 9 on a rainy day in Virunga National Park.

Silverback Lulengo.

*This image is copyright of its original author

Juveniles relaxing in the rain

*This image is copyright of its original author

Adult female Bavanyuma

*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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Credits to Gorilla Doctors.

Munyinya's baby Igikombe is his mini me! Here are some cute photos of the matching pair from last week when Dr. Gaspard found them feeding happily on Eucalyptus.

*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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( This post was last modified: 02-08-2017, 03:33 AM by Tshokwane )

Credits to Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

Field Update: Silverback Agahozo, who left the day Cantsbee reappeared, attempted to return to the group yesterday but was chased away by the other silverbacks. We got some great photos of Agahozo and Cantsbee from the interaction!

Silverback Agahozo, he is 12 years old.

*This image is copyright of its original author

Silverback Cantsbee.

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‘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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Young gorilla struggles to cross river: By Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

Fossey Fund field staff reported a high number of interactions among the mountain gorilla groups we monitor in Rwanda during the past month and these are important because they can lead to injuries and changes in the group composition. Sometimes, these interactions also result in the transfer of adult females from one group to another, and several such cases were seen recently. Occasionally, a mother who transfers will leave behind a young offspring, and this is what happened last month when mother Ikaze transferred, leaving her young son, Masunzu, behind in his original group.

Masunzu is almost 3 years old, just barely at the age for weaning, so this is a precarious time for him. Luckily, the silverback of his group – Isabukuru – has taken over as surrogate, shares his night nest with little Masunzu, and provides warmth, grooming and protection. Isabukuru has experience helping lone youngsters and even has a second youngster sharing his night nest at this time.


Masunzu and Isabukuru

*This image is copyright of its original author

But since gorilla groups travel every day, sometimes this help is not enough. Today, this group began to travel across the Susa river, but Masunzu failed to cross. Another young male stayed behind with him for a while and two other gorillas stayed close to the river on the other side, waiting for them to cross. These two then crossed back and displayed at young Masunzu, but then left again.

Fasha stays behind with Masunzu

*This image is copyright of its original author

After this, Masunzu tried several times to get across the river on his own and after about 30 minutes he finally made it, while four other gorillas stared at him. After he crossed, young male Icyororo gave him a hug and picked him up to continue their travel.

Thank you to our research assistant Eric Ndayishimiye for getting these great photos!


Icyororo hugs Masunzu

*This image is copyright of its original author

Icyororo carries Masunzu after crossing the river

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‘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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Here's the video of the above article.

Click on it to play.



‘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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Credits to Gorilla Doctors.

Dr. Martin visited the Nyakamwe group to follow-up on reports of coughing among gorillas in the group. He is pleased to report that they have since recovered and are doing well!

Proud mama Kanyarunga with her babies

*This image is copyright of its original author

Gatho with her fuzzy baby

*This image is copyright of its original author

Silverback Nyakamwe resting in the greenery

*This image is copyright of its original author

Kanyarunga feeding

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‘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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