Although we still don’t know the gender of the mountain gorilla twins born in January, Fossey Fund field staff can now easily identify one twin from the other. Until they get their “official” names in this September’s annual Rwandan naming ceremony (Kwita Izina), we are calling them Twin 1 and Twin 2.
Twin 1 seems to be a bit larger than Twin 2, but both nurse regularly and both ride on the back of mother Isaro, so we believe they are treated equally. To keep her energy up with all this feeding and carrying, mother Isaro is always the first in the group to start feeding during resting periods and always the last to join the others when it’s time to move again.
None of the other gorillas interfere with Isaro and the twins when the group is moving, but when they are resting, their young brother Icyororo has been seen carrying one of them for playing.
Photo by Veronica Vecellio, gorilla program manager, Karisoke Research Center.