Even with baby Zahra in tow, Calaya continues to participate in our operant conditioning training program—on her terms, of course. During training sessions, we ask the gorillas to do behaviors that help us monitor their health. These include presenting various body parts for inspection, stepping on a scale and receiving injections. Calaya is a pro at this training, but because she tends to hold Zahra on her right, she has been hesitant to present her right side to keepers. Interestingly, she did the same thing with Moke when he was about Zahra’s age! We anticipate she will be more willing to do those behaviors once Zahra is more independent.
Zahra’s arrival has been an adjustment for Moke, who seems to miss being the center of attention. Moke doesn’t quite know what to do now that all eyes—and especially mom’s—are not on him. Over the past year, he and Kibibi haven’t been playing as much as they used to when they were younger. Now that he’s fishing for attention from the other troop members, Kibibi will take one for the team and play with him.
Moke is curious about his little sister and tries to touch her from time to time. Calaya allows him to get close but is vigilant. Sometimes, she will bark softly or push Moke’s hand away.