The Aspinall Foundation

Field Update: Latest news on our gorillas in Congo and Gabon

Posted by The Aspinall Foundation on 17-May-2022 11:12:07

The Aspinall Foundation has been protecting gorillas in Africa for decades, returning over 70 to the wild, and seeing over 35 births from them since their reintroduction. This has helped gorillas thrive in areas of Congo and Gabon where they were once hunted to extinction. Here are updates from our gorilla projects, including great new video footage of our newest gorilla family.

Update from Congo: Joshi, Loukelela and Bomassa

Joshi is gaining more and more confidence in his new life at the Lesio-Louna Reserve. Together with the young Bomassa (5 years old) and Loukelela (7 years old), he continues his path to a life in the wild and is learning to explore his new environment.

IMG-20220425-WA0000_Bomassa-Loukelela_MAY22 Bomassa and Loukelela ©The Aspinall Foundation

The presence of the two young gorilla orphans has helped Joshi to acclimatise easily to his new living conditions. Recently, he has begun to explore the island more thoroughly in their company. Observing their feeding behaviour, Joshi tries out new foods and plant species that are naturally present in the reserve. His adaptability and willingness to try new foods or explore new areas is enabling him to adapt well to life in the wild.

Joshi continues to have a very calm and sometimes shy nature, but he is not intimidated by the two young gorillas, showing good qualities for a silverback leading his group. Bomassa and Loukelela benefit enormously from the cohesion with the silverback, as once released, he will be able to guide and protect them from possible predator attacks.

IMG-20220411-WA0005_Bomassa_MAY22 Bomassa ©The Aspinall Foundation

Given all these positive developments, we expect that the three gorillas will become completely independent in their search for food resources and that the two young males will continue to guide Joshi in exploring the island.

Update from Gabon: Djongo, Mayombe & Taali

We have some amazing camera trap footage from our gorilla family in Gabon that shows baby Taali learning to climb.

Taali is doing well and in previous weeks had managed to master the technique of sitting on Mayombe's back in a way that allows her to access and collect food from her mother's mouth.

IMG-20220320-WA0005_Taali_MAY22 Taali. ©The Aspinall Foundation

An unexpected encounter

The family recently received a guest near to their island: Djongo’s father, Djala. Djala had been in an area nearby for over a month, out of sight, but decided to get within viewing distance of the island.

Djala_MAY22 Djala ©The Aspinall Foundation

For the first few days, Djongo and Mayombe seemed rather bewildered by the presence of another silverback gorilla nearby, but after a few days they seemed content to observe Djala from a distance while they patrolled their island.

The small family continue to learn how to live near another gorilla, which is a very good learning experience for them. Of course, it was also wonderful for our team to see three generations of this incredible gorilla family all so close to each other.

The gorilla projects would not be possible without our supporters, so a huge thank you to them for all they do to protect these amazing gorillas and their habitats.

Help us save gorillas >>

Topics: Gorillas, The Aspinall Foundation, Congo, Gabon, gorilla, western lowland gorilla, rewilding, backtothewild

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