Thursday, February 23, 2012

Silverback Updates: Inshuti, Giraneza and Gwiza

Giraneza in strut stanceGiraneza in strut stance

After having gone missing for three days, dominant silverback Inshuti was located today by the Fossey Fund field staff. A life-altering series of interactions with lone silverback Giraneza last week left him with severe injuries and minus two of his females.  Still traveling with Inshuti is 31-year-old female Shangaza, her offspring: 3-year-old Ngwino, and 2-year-old Akarusho (whose mother, Taraja, left to join Giraneza).

Karisoke director Felix Ndagijimana trekked to Giraneza’s newly formed gorilla group today to assess the group and the trackers assigned to it. Ndagijimana reports that Giraneza is still establishing his power over the females through displays and strut stances. Additionally, he reported that both females in the group, Taraja and Nyandwi, solicited copulation with the silverback and Giraneza was observed copulating with Taraja on one occasion.

“Even though the group is doing fine, it is clear from Giraneza’s power displays that they are still in a transitional phase” says Gorilla Program Manager Veronica Vecellio. Karisoke has now established a team of trackers specifically for Giraneza’s group, after an initial team of temporary staff was assembled to meet the new group's needs.

Gwiza still seems to be ranging outside of our tracker’s patrol areas and has yet to be located after his intense interaction with Ugenda’s group last Wednesday, when the 24-year-old lone silverback sustained severe injuries. Just because the field staff has not located the bachelor does not necessarily mean that he is critically wounded, but it could be some time before Gwiza is strong enough to attempt another interaction and make an appearance within a Karisoke research group.

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