Rwanda's Gorillas - 2017

This group was much more active than the "Anniversary Family!" There were a couple of teenagers that are called "Troublemakers" by the guides and rangers because, just like teenage boys, they run around trying to pick fights with others. They make a charge at each other straight on or better still sneakily. Then they pull fur or slap around. Constantly teasing someone else. Adult females don't pay them much mind unless they get too close to a really young gorilla and that behavior they don't tolerate. Of course, the "troublemakers" are like human bullies; they never pick fights with the big fellows—especially not with the silverbacks. Besides the big guy in charge, there were two young males just beginning to show the silvering fur on their backs. When they are mature, they will be driven out of the family to go find a new one for themselves. That's how Mother Nature prevents inbreeding and keeps the gene pool as rich as possible! One of the most amazing experiences on this day was that Kay was told to go sit next to a female who was sitting up on the little rise where all of us humans were arranged. (We could sit during the observation time on this trek.) Kay looked askance at Loyce because we had been told not to approach the gorillas or touch them or even stare at them lingeringly. And here's the guide prompting her to scoot over next to the young female. So Kay carefully moved over next to her. She said that the young female looked at her for a few seconds and then went back to her own thoughts while slowly munching on a piece of tree. A little later, she pushed herself up and went down to join the family again in the little depression where they were nested. Kay was never even aware when she left her side; she was that quiet and deliberate.

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