What Have the Gorillas Been Up To?
The Limbe Wildlife Center has been a committed advocate for the protection and constant provider in care for the rescued T4 gorillas since they arrived in Cameroon 5 months ago. IFAW has relied on the Limbe staff for updates and status reports since working closely together in the move. Both organizations have invested in the future welfare of these animals and we will continue our long term relationship.
Last Thursday the four adolescent gorillas were transfered from the quarantine area to a larger enclosure within viewing distance of other long term gorilla residents. This is the first opportunity either of the groups have had the opportunity to place eyes on each other and size up the competition. Actually, gorillas communicate through body language and not through eye contact. So you can only imagine just how much displaying has been occurring in the last couple days!
Here are some out-takes from the latest report sent:
"They are currently occupying the annex built with IFAW funds back in 2005 and are in sight, sound and smell of the resident gorillas, from which they will remain physically separated for some time.
"Once the keeping staff are satisfied that all of the gorillas have settled down from the excitement of seeing new enclosure mates arrive we can begin the slow process of gradual introductions, whereby individuals from the T4 and the resident gorilla group are selected to meet one another in the safety of the night house.
"With time all of the resident gorillas will be given a chance to meet each of the T4 in varying combinations, until we are satisfied that the potential for aggression is low. At this point we can begin letting the T4 in to the outside enclosure.
"The introduction process will be long and complicated and ultimately will be driven by the responses of the gorillas themselves, however it is hoped that within a few months the T4 will be fully integrated with the resident group.