#GorillaStory: Father and Son Bonding

This update was written by primate keeper Melba Brown.

Watching our western lowland gorillas provides endless moments of fascination. The silverback of our mixed sex troop, Baraka, shared a few bonding moments this week with his 7-month-old son, Moke. Our youngest gorilla was exploring the Great Ape House indoor habitat and climbing the mesh. Baraka approached Moke and watched him for a minute, then gently cupped his hands around Moke's body. Later that day, Baraka was reclining while Moke tooled around behind him. Moke turned towards Baraka and gave his dad a pat on the back!

Last month, I wrote about Kibibi’s distinctive laugh during play bouts with her troop members. Gorilla laughs sound a bit like rapid and short exhalations. Moke laughs, too, and models his laughter after that of his favorite pal!