Fossey Fund trackers report that mountain gorilla Kurudi has just given birth, and that they found her holding the newborn this morning. Kurudi lives in Titus group, which has two silverbacks — Pato and Urwibutso. Both were displaying when trackers arrived.
Mother Kurudi is 20 years old and this is her fourth infant, though the others are no longer living. There are two other adult females in this group that we expect will give birth some time this year as well — Imvune and Kubana.
Titus group is named after the late legendary silverback Titus, but now has two young silverbacks with true dominance yet to be determined. Sometimes it seems as though Pato is the preferred one, while at other times it seems to be Urwibutso. The former dominant silverback, Turakora, died in March after an unknown illness, leaving behind this confusing situation.
Also this week, one of our staff recorded the birth of a Grauer’s gorilla infant in Kahuzi-Biega National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo. The Grauer’s gorillas here are the only habituated members of this highly endangered subspecies, and are protected by the Congolese park authorities (ICCN). While assisting with research and monitoring, the Fossey Fund’s Dr. Amy Porter reported seeing the mother-to-be pass by her with no infant, then 10 minutes later appear with a wet newborn, umbilical cord hanging off, while the other gorillas gathered around to inspect.