In our family of eight gorillas, we have four youngsters. Our youngest is Mahali who turned two in August. Mahali has recently become a very independent and is embracing his new found freedom and confidence. Every day he’s moving further away from his mother, Mouila.
Before our eyes we can see his confidence growing. He’s quite skilled at scaling across the logs and balancing on the ropes, but the change is really evident when we see him interacting with his siblings. He has started to play with the oldest two, Fataki (7) and Kimya (5), although when their games start to get a little too rough he retreats back to mum for comfort and maybe a drink of milk.
Mahali’s favourite playmate is our second youngest gorilla Fuzu. He is bigger than Mahali but they make great play pals and can be seen chuckling and laughing together. Their favourite pastime is wrestling on the ground or chasing each other. Fuzu has taken on the big brother role. I sometimes spot him carrying Mahali around on his back even though his legs are crumbling underneath him. When the games are over, Mahali will go back to mum for well earned rest and a ride on her back. He promptly sits himself on top and watches the world go by.
- Lisa, Primate Keeper