Mon, June 30, 2014

Taraja Gives Birth and Lone Silverback Giraneza is Seen Again

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June 30, 2014

Taraja Gives Birth and Lone Silverback Giraneza is Seen Again

Taraja and her newbornOn May 23, an infant was born to mountain gorilla mother Taraja. We were happy to see this, because it is the first infant born in Mafunzo’s group, which is the most recent gorilla group to form in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

The new group was seen for the first time in January 2014. It formed when a young, solitary silverback, named Mafunzo, originally from Pablo’s group, gained two females. One of these females is Taraja, who had been with another young silverback, Giraneza, since the beginning of 2012.

The history of Taraja’s other offspring is marked by unfortunate events, however. Her first son died when he was 3 years old, after he was trapped in a snare and then was the subject of other dramatic events that led to his very premature death. The second infant was killed during an intergroup encounter when he was the victim of aggressions.

We wish this new little one a lot of luck. His life has started off fortunately because, although Taraja was not yet with silverback Mafunzo when this infant was conceived, Mafunzo is still taking care of this first infant in his newly formed group.

Giraneza, now a lone silverbackOn June 4, silverback Giraneza, who is now solitary, was seen by trackers of Mafunzo’s group in an area 200 meters from where Mafunzo’s group had been tracked the day before. At first, Giraneza ran away but after a few minutes he calmed down and trackers were able to follow him for 25 minutes and take photos. They observed him doing two displays with hooting vocalizations and hitting the ground in one direction. This might have been because other gorillas, such as Mafunzo’s group, were around.

It is great news to find Giraneza again, because everyone was wondering how he is doing after losing all his females. It doesn’t surprise us to have met Giraneza close to Mafunzo’s group, since he recently lost his only female, Taraja, to Mafunzo. This also explains the distress behaviors of silverback Mafunzo during the previous days. He is concentrating on protecting his females, and now the new infant, from any outside dangers.

We believed silverback Giraneza had often been around this newly formed group but this had not been observed directly by our field staff. One of the great advantages of the electronic data collection that our trackers now perform is that they are able to photograph unusual events and gorillas whose identities are not already clearly known to them, such as a lone silverback. These photos can then be quickly compared with those in our scientific database for definitive identification. Knowing the identity of solitary silverbacks in the vicinity of a group, for example, makes the dynamic and reactions more understandable.

We are grateful to an Anonymous Foundation, The Milton and Tamar Maltz Family Foundation, Oracle, Orange County Community Foundation, Turner Foundation, US Fish & Wildlife Service, and Gorilla Council members, as well as our sponsors, members and donors for their generous support of our protection and monitoring programs both in Rwanda and in Congo. We could not continue our work without the contributions from those who understand the importance of a daily presence in the forest to the survival of gorillas. – See more at: https://gorillafund.org/news–events/cu_140602_bamboo-time-again#sthash.MxEY0zMr.dpuf

We are grateful to an Anonymous Foundation, The Milton and Tamar Maltz Family Foundation, Oracle, Orange County Community Foundation, Turner Foundation, US Fish & Wildlife Service, and Gorilla Council members, as well as our sponsors, members and donors for their generous support of our protection and monitoring programs both in Rwanda and in Congo. We could not continue our work without the contributions from those who understand the importance of a daily presence in the forest to the survival of gorillas.

We are grateful to an Anonymous Foundation, The Milton and Tamar Maltz Family Foundation, Oracle, Orange County Community Foundation, Turner Foundation, US Fish & Wildlife Service, and Gorilla Council members, as well as our sponsors, members and donors for their generous support of our protection and monitoring programs both in Rwanda and in Congo. We could not continue our work without the contributions from those who understand the importance of a daily presence in the forest to the survival of gorillas. – See more at: https://gorillafund.org/news–events/cu_140602_bamboo-time-again#sthash.MxEY0zMr.dpuf

We are grateful to an Anonymous Foundation, The Milton and Tamar Maltz Family Foundation, Oracle, Orange County Community Foundation, Turner Foundation, US Fish & Wildlife Service, and Gorilla Council members, as well as our sponsors, members and donors for their generous support of our protection and monitoring programs both in Rwanda and in Congo. We could not continue our work without the contributions from those who understand the importance of a daily presence in the forest to the survival of gorillas. – See more at: https://gorillafund.org/news–events/cu_140602_bamboo-time-again#sthash.MAHd8LNL.dpuf

We are grateful to an Anonymous Foundation, The Milton and Tamar Maltz Family Foundation, Oracle, Orange County Community Foundation, Turner Foundation, US Fish & Wildlife Service, and Gorilla Council members, as well as our sponsors, members and donors for their generous support of our protection and monitoring programs both in Rwanda and in Congo. We could not continue our work without the contributions from those who understand the importance of a daily presence in the forest to the survival of gorillas. – See more at: https://gorillafund.org/news–events/cu_140602_bamboo-time-again#sthash.MAHd8LNL.dpuf

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