November 9, 2011
Gorilla Groups Interact in the Bamboo Zone
Two interactions took place today in the bamboo zone.
The first was with Ntambara’s group and Umubano’s group (one of the groups used for tourism). Two silverbacks from Ntambara’s group exchanged many displays with the males from Umubano’s group. Surprisingly, dominant silverback Ntambara was not seen today. The nest count shows that the group was complete during the night, but he may have walked far from his group in the morning. We can’t know if his absence is related or not to the interaction or if it was due to the presence of a lone silverback in the same area.
The second interaction was between Pablo’s and Kuryama’s group, while both were ranging in the bamboo zone of Mudakama. From Pablo’s group, only the silverback Musilikale was involved. He walked toward Kuryama’s group and exchanged displays with the two silverbacks Kirahiure and Vuba. Both interactions ended without consequences.
Missing from Pablo’s group are the black back Irakoze, who had recently rejoined the group, together with female Nyabitondore and her infant. The nest count showed that all members of the group were together during the night. The three gorillas moved away in the morning. It is possible that they are just hidden somewhere nearby in the dense vegetation of the bamboo zone.
Tomorrow we will be able to tell for sure whether the missing individuals left the group or were just not seen by the field staff.