January 12, 2012
Lone Silverback Giraneza Interacts with a Group
Today we witnessed a brief interaction between Kuryama’s gorilla group and the lone silverback Giraneza. Kuryama’s group is one of nine groups we monitor daily from the Karisoke Research Center. We also record encounters with lone silverbacks, though we are not able to follow them individually. Giraneza is one of several lone silverbacks we run into from time to time, so he is fairly well known to us.
Today, Giraneza appeared and tried a “shy” entrance into the group with few displays. As soon as he arrived a few meters from the group, group silverbacks Vuba and Kirahure ran towards him and chased him. Giraneza then ran away quickly and did not try again to gain access.
Still, we are excited to have seen Giraneza, because it has been many months since we last saw him (in July 2011). Giraneza was seen three times in 2011 and each time he was interacting with the Kuryama group, which we find very interesting!
In Titus’ group, all dynamics are revolving around female "Fat," who is definitely in her receptive time for mating. She often solicits mating with dominant silverback Rano, who today copulated with her three times in three hours. During the same period of time she also mated with young silverback Pato. That act was curiously tolerated by Rano,who was a few meters away and did not intervene. On the other hand, Rano ran off silverback Turakora, making loud pig grunts, when Turakora was trying to have a sexual approach with Fat. Turakora gave up and run away.