Rwanda's Gorillas - 2017

safe and well fed. During that time, she "interviewed" a couple of interested unattached males. But apparently none made the team and she drove them off. Later the current silverback wandered in looking for a home & family and she accepted him as the new leader and protector of her family. Wonder what he showed that the others did not? He is very big and maybe to her eyes handsome too. And for about 2 years now, Special Family has become more ordinary in that it is led by a big male silverback rather than a female! However, through this time that she has relinquished her leadership role, she has proven to be an excellent Alpha female as she looks after him and makes sure he is well cared for. We saw a proof of this when we finally got to our viewing site. The silverback was contentedly eating the inside of a horizontally- placed tree trunk which had been split open so that the softer parts were exposed. While the male dined, she sat at one end of the trunk and refused to allow any other family member even to sneak a little fragment of the trunk. As soon as anyone approached, she started screeching and baring her significantly large teeth in a fearful growl. The reckless one would immediately scurry away and hide behind another less audacious family member. When the silverback had eaten his fill, demonstrated by his lying down on his back and relaxing, she would allow others, including herself to come to the tree trunk! But not until he was completely relaxed.

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