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!