gorilla family

Mother gorilla with infant pass quickly along a forest trail

9:43 on the morning of September 23, a path comes to life along the edge of a swamp forest near Gamba, Gabon. A haze of morning sun filters softly through the canopy as a mother gorilla appears for a brief instant, cruising along a forest path, her infant perched on her shoulders. Obscured by thick vegetation, another gorilla passes by in the distance, following the course of a stream. The mother is moving quickly and is soon followed by a second mother and infant heading in the same direction through the forest.

Two days later, gorillas moving in the light of early evening.
An encounter between a juvenile and silverback gorilla.

Two days later, 5:28 in the evening, as shadows overtake the forest floor, the gorillas reappear. Likely the same family, they amble along this path near the stream. The mother and infant are first to record on the stealth camera, now operating in the deepening shadows with infra-red illumination. Another possible mother appears, followed closely by a juvenile. A large silverback cuts into the scene from below, and turns to sit facing the camera. In front of the sitting silverback, an infant trips past in a blur of dark hair, perhaps feeling vulnerable without mother nearby. For nearly a minute the silverback sits, appearing to be interested in a piece of vegetation, smelling or tasting a twig as another possible young male follows him into view. The silverback covers his face with an enormous hand, stretches his left leg, then appears to fixate on something in the direction of the camera. Perhaps he has something to say to the young gorilla as it pauses below the camera, appearing to look or listen to some detail in the forest. The young gorilla continues on, cutting wide behind the silverback. Once the gorilla is out of view, the silverback rises, shuffling along the trail, to be followed a few seconds later by a mother with infant riding high on her shoulders, bringing up the rear. The forest path returns to quiet in the fading light, the singsong of nearby stream trickling through the background. And nearby, a family of at least nine gorillas are likely searching out their nests for the night.

sitting silverback gorilla

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