November 13, 2011
Missing Gorillas Found, New Infant Born
The Fossey Fund field staff is very happy that both of the dispersed females and their infants rejoined Kuryama’s group this morning. The group spent the night outside of the park once again, but were herded back in promptly after the trackers arrived in the field. Umutekano and her infant, Dukore, rejoined the group at 10:30 a.m. Although dominant silverback Kirahure initially reacted with aggression toward the dispersed female, the behavior was brief and her infant soon joined the other youngsters in the group for a play session.
By the time Umutekano and Dukore rejoined their group, trackers were already on the trail of the additional dispersed female and her infant. The pair were located 150 meters from the group, with the mother exhibiting stress behavior. The trackers were careful not to approach too carefully and eventually, the mother and infant rejoined the group as well in the early afternoon.
As expected, female "Fat" and the lone silverback are currently interacting with Titus group. (The lone silverback that we believed to be Turatsinze is now thought to be 19-year-old Twizere, a silverback that dispersed from Shinda group in 2007. Closer observation tomorrow should confirm his identity.) The Karisoke Titus group trackers observed Fat approach the group around 10:30 a.m. with the lone silverback close on her heels. As soon as he entered the group, all of the gorillas attacked him without hesitation, with dominant silverback Rano leading the aggression. Both Rano and the lone silverback are reported to have sustained superficial wounds thus far.
Saving the best for last….
26-year-old Bishushwe of Urugamba’s group gave birth last night. This brings our smallest monitored group of gorillas up to 6 individuals!
Jessica Burbridge, Field Communications Officer