Febuary 26, 2013
New Group Gushimira Taking Hold
After the interaction between Ugenda’s group and the lone silverback Gushimira yesterday (see previous blogs), the three females followed silverback Gushimira and moved away. The two groups nested about100 meters apart, but this morning they moved in opposite directions. Today, the distance between them was 300 meters. All the gorillas in each group seemed to be fine and infant Sabato stayed close to silverback Ugenda.
However, further action occurred with Gushimira’s group, as they interacted with Gwiza, another very well-known lone silverback. The interaction started at 10:40 a.m., when Gushimira started displaying. At 11:00 a.m., another display was heard from downhill, and it was Gwiza.
Gwiza was about 100 meters away from Gushimira but they could see each other because of the Visoke slope. Gushimira and Gwiza exchanged many displays, but they never came closer than 100 meters. Only when Gushimira moved a few meters in Gwiza’s direction did Gwiza move away.
At 2 p.m. , when trackers and researcher Samedi left the site, Gwiza started moving away while Gushimira was still displaying.
So, by the end of today, we feel we can state there is “officially” a new group: Gushimira’s group. We are therefore reorganizing our tracker teams in order to assure the daily monitoring of this new group along with all the others we follow.
In the past few days, because of this long interaction, we didn’t have trackers looking for dispersed female Bishushwe and her infant. The last time that she was localized was on Feb. 18, when her fresh trail was seen in the same area where Gushimira, Ugenda and now Gwiza are ranging. On that day she was running away from trackers and we couldn’t confirm if her infant was still alive.