First of all, because in their first two years of life, the young gorillas mainly cling to their mother’s back – a posture that reveals absolutely nothing. When the offspring then starts to climb and romp around, you not only need an infinite amount of patience, but also great luck to catch a revealing glimpse through the binoculars. Nevertheless, you can’t be completely sure at a distance.
Only a genetic analysis can bring clarity, but this requires some effort.
Shelly Masi from the French State Natural History Museum, who has been researching in Dzanga-Sangha for many years, and her team collected samples from several young animals from the three habituated gorilla groups last year. They brought them to Paris for analysis and – big surprise! –
Who cares – as long as there is offspring!
But no matter the sex – most importantly we do have offspring, because for us every gorilla is a gift and a sign of hope!
The youngest is currently Bokonya, born on 6 September 2021 in the Mayele group.
The BaAka trackers chose the name, after the tree under which they found the newborn in the arms of its mother Duma – fortunately the name fits both sexes. In the meantime, Bokonya shows a lot of interest in its big sister Kenga. She sometimes sits next to it when the little one is fed by its mother, and then Bokonya strokes her head. So Bokonya has the best prospects of growing up sheltered – also thanks to your sponsorship.
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written by Lara Nellissen
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