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Gorilla
Family Tree

For five generations of gorillas, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund has been in the forests of Africa protecting and collecting data. Below you will find birth dates, family history, and fun facts about a small portion of the gorillas we have been monitoring for over half a century. This “family tree” starts with Effie, who Dian Fossey studied and includes many of the gorillas we are actively tracking today.

Overview

Effie’s family tree is only a small sampling of the gorillas we monitor in the wild.

3.2 Effie and Mahane: twenty-five years ago, when Dian Fossey received a study grant from Louis Leakey, mountain gorillas were shot, snared, and eaten. Their skulls and hands were sold to tourists as souvenirs.

Effie

Effie has over 100 descendants and was monitored by Dian Fossey herself. Five of the nine gorilla groups currently monitored by the Fossey Fund are led by an Effie family member. Dian wrote that “Effie endowed her infants with love and security during their formative years and a keen self confidence that carried over into their adulthood.”

Effie's Offspring

Icarus

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Tuck

Puck

Poppy

Tuysheme

Icarus

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Tuck

Puck

Poppy

Digital Camera

Tuysheme

Effie

Puck

Cantsbee

Mitimbili

Tebuka

Effie

Puck

Cantsbee

Mitimbili

Tebuka

Effie

Puck

Cantsbee

Mitimbili

Tebuka

puck

Puck

Puck lived to be 38 years old and was first observed by Dian Fossey, when she was born on Dec. 15, 1968. She is the mother of dominant silverback Cantsbee and her youngest offspring, Puck’s sons Cantsbee, Isabukuru and Mafunzo grew up to be the leaders of very large groups. Nyandwi, her youngest offspring, was often seen helping her keep up with the group in the last days of her life.

Puck's Offspring

Cantsbee

Intwali

Intwali

Makuba

Makuba

Isabukuru

Gusangira

Mafunzo

Mafunzo

Nyandwi

Nyandwi

Effie

Puck

Cantsbee

Mitimbili

Tebuka

Effie

Puck

Cantsbee

Mitimbili

Tebuka

Effie

Puck

Cantsbee

Mitimbili

Tebuka

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Cantsbee

Cantsbee has over 25 offspring but only 8 are shown below! Dian mistakenly thought Cantsbee’s mother Puck was a male up until she gave birth to her first offspring: “Upon hearing the news from an incredulous student…I exclaimed, ‘It can’t be!’ Thus Puck’s first infant gained the name Cantsbee.” Cantsbee leads the largest group of mountain gorillas ever recorded and holds the record for the longest consistent group leadership.

Cantsbee's Offspring

Gicurasi

Gicurasi

Mitimbili

Mitimbili

Gushimira

Gushimira

Musilikale

Musilikale

Afrika

Afrika

Iyambere

Iyambere

Urugwiro

Urugwiro

Dushishoze

Dushishoze

Effie

Puck

Cantsbee

Mitimbili

Tebuka

Effie

Puck

Cantsbee

Mitimbili

Tebuka

Effie

Puck

Cantsbee

Mitimbili

Tebuka

Mitimbili

Mitimbili

Mitimbili has remained in the same gorilla group her entire life. She is still very close with her father Cantsbee and mother Mukecuru. All of her offspring are males and are very independent. Mitimbili’s first infant, Ubwuzu, is confirmed to be Isabukuru’s son from genetic testing.

Mitimbili's Offspring

Ubwuzu

Ubwuzu

Isooko

Isooko

Tebuka

Tebuka

Effie

Puck

Cantsbee

Mitimbili

Tebuka

Effie

Puck

Cantsbee

Mitimbili

Tebuka

Tebuka

Tebuka

Tebuka’s name means “be quick” and was chosen because he started walking independently from his mother at an early age. He lives in Pablo’s group, the largest group of gorillas living in the Virunga mountains of Rwanda. Trackers often see little Tebuka sitting close to grandfather Cantsbee.

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