Good news on gorilla group adjusting

Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund staff in Rwanda report that the Kuryama gorilla group is doing well, now that young silverback Igihozo has taken over leadership. Older silverback Vuba died in September, but luckily the group had two young silverbacks who were ready and able to keep the group safe and stable. Newly dominant Igihozo is 14 years old, and second silverback Tetero is 13 years old. They grew up together and work well together, though Igihozo is clearly in charge now.

The group had some good news this week, when they gained a new female – 8-year-old Keza –  who transferred from a very small group consisting only of her and silverback Urugwiro that had just formed in June. The transfer happened during an interaction between the two groups, during which Igihozo showed his strength and determination.

Keza (left) and silverback Igihozo (right)

The addition of Keza to the Kuryama group is especially good, because there was only one other adult female in the group until now. Keza’s presence should provide new opportunities for the group to grow and evolve. Igihozo was even observed making displays at the new female to “impress” her and so his leadership seems off to a good start!

Silverback Igihozo and Keza

In the meantime, silverback Urugwiro has returned to his prior state of being solitary again. Perhaps he will try to gain another female again in the future.

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