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Infant Uwacu

Pablo's Group

Uwacu D.O.B. May 27, 2020

Uwacu, meaning “one of us”, was born into historic Pablo’s group on May 27, 2020, to a young first-time mom, Isangano, who was only 9 when she gave birth. Uwacu was named by Fossey Fund tracker Emmanuel Nzabonimpa, who says he chose the name because “when Isangano gave birth, she was surrounded and assisted by many other gorillas of the group, and it seemed as if they had recognized and welcomed the newborn into the family.”

One of the many challenges our trackers face is to help identify the gender of infants under our protection. This can take a bit of luck and a good view, neither of which we have had with Uwacu, so we are still unable to determine if this gorilla is a male or female. But we hope to be able to share his/her gender in the coming months.

Uwacu is almost 2 and is extremely active. Uwacu is always playing and especially loves to climb on the backs of the many silverbacks in the group. Like any 2-year-old, Uwacu is curious and adventurous, but still connected to mom. Isangano has stepped into her new role as mom quite well, having learned from her own mom, who was the dominant female in the group when she was alive. Isangano and the five other adult females in the group are all supportive of each other and are confidently raising their infants together.

Uwacu is entering the most exciting year of infancy, gaining confidence and practicing the skills they will need as an adult. With no siblings yet, Uwacu continues to enjoy Isangano’s undivided attention. This will likely change after Uwacu is weaned at age 3, at which time we expect Isangano to get pregnant again.

We are excited to see Uwacu continue to grow and learn!

6 Month Update

Uwacu, who turned 2 this year, is at a great age! Youngsters of this age still have the full attention and care of their mom, but have also begun to gain independence as they expand their horizons by making new friends and exploring their surroundings.  

Speaking of playing,that is Uwacu’s favorite thing to do! He has  started climbing trees with playmate Kura and seems to enjoy the view from way up high. 

As Uwacu is becoming more adventurous, he is spending more and more time with father Gicurasi.  Being close to the dominant silverback is always a great way for infants to learn  – especially as silverbacks are very tolerant and even join in on the play time every now and then.

One Year Update

The BIG news for Uwacu is that our team has finally been able to confirm Uwacu’s gender and surprise…. IT’S A GIRL!

Uwacu who turned 3 this May, a major milestone in a gorilla’s life. She has begun to gain independence from her mom and is exploring new foods and adventuring farther and farther away from mom. She and her best friends Kura and Umukuru spend their days playing. Uwacu especially loves to practice her chest beat and uses it to begin play sessions with her friends and attract attention. 

If she’s not with her mom or her friends, Uwacu is often found close to silverback Gicurasi, who has recently been challenged for dominance. These are great lessons for Uwacu to witness as she learns the ins and outs of gorilla group life and how important it is to have great relationships.

Check back for more updates on Uwacu.