Sept. 24 is World Gorilla Day, and we are celebrating with an update on our 2-year-old, Moke, and his troop! Our growing gorilla infant is packing on the pounds—nearly 50 and counting. Day by day, he’s coming into his own as an independent, curious and (occasionally) goofy gorilla.
Moke’s playfulness is one of our favorite attributes. Sometimes, he even gets us to join in the fun, too. Recently, Moke has taken to tumbling and twirling around his enclosures. One morning, Carly decided to spin with Moke, and he got a big kick out of that! Every time he twirled, she twirled, too. He spun around so much that he had to sit down and take a breather. Another morning, Carly tried to up the ante and did a cartwheel for Moke, hoping to “wow” him. Alas, he was quite unimpressed and went about his business. He seems to prefer dancing over gymnastics!
The relationship between Moke and his father, Baraka, is something truly special to witness. When they play with one another, it really is a sight to see! Moke is built like a tank, but he’s nowhere near as big as his 400-pound dad. Despite their remarkable size difference, they make great playmates.
Turn the volume up to hear Moke and Baraka laugh as they play together.
Like most dominant silverbacks, Baraka is always vigilant about his troop. He keeps a watchful eye over Moke’s mother, Calaya, females Mandara and Kibibi, and—of course—Moke. When the rest of his troopmates are relaxing and content, Moke is tearing around the enclosure, egging the others on to play with him.
Sometimes, Baraka will shoo Moke away if he isn’t in the mood to indulge his son. But, if you are in the right place at the right time, you might catch a glimpse of them wrestling. Just like humans, gorillas are great apes. And, just like we laugh, they laugh, too! This vocalization is one of Erin’s favorite sounds to hear.