December 13, 2011
Pablo's Subgroups Reunite After Six Days
On Dec. 7, Karisoke field staff observed subgrouping again in Pablo group. Silverbacks Gicurasi and Cantsbee again instigated the split, with 26 individuals following Gicurasi and 19 following Cantsbee. Our trackers were unable to locate all of the night nests that day and believed that the group did not nest together. The groups were 500 meters apart when a researcher and the trackers arrived that morning and they continued their separation for six days.
But yesterday, Pablo’s subgroups reunited after having spent six days separated. The two nest sites of the morning were two km apart from each other, but the subgroup led by silverback Gicurasi moved toward the one led by dominant Cantsbee and the two met in the morning. All gorillas are fine and surprisingly they all came together without any particular behaviors, just as though nothing had happened.
During the split, the Karisoke anti-poaching trackers supported the Pablo’s tracker team in order to have enough staff to monitor both subgroups and to collect behavioral data without interruption.
It remains to be seen whether this split will happen again or what other changes may occur.