(This blog was written by Dr. Eddy in DRC)

Infant in Kabirizi group.

I recently visited the Kabirizi family from Bukima patrol post in Virunga National Park. The group traveled a long distance from where rangers left him from the previous visit. We found their night nests around 10:25am at Kingona area and 24 night nests were counted .  Not far from the night nest, we found some gorillas eating and the others moving and playing.

Kabirizi himself.

 Kabirizi family has about 34 individuals with one dominant silverback—Kabirizi—and the blackback Bagheni is second in command. Kabirizi is known for being protective of his family. He charges humans a lot and tends to make much noise when he sees us. The blackbacks Jeshi and Bagheni are most of the time observed with the group and sometimes Jeshi is the most turbulent male.

Rubiga concealing her infant

During the visit time 26 individuals were observed and no apparent health problems were noted. The adult female Rubiga was observed with her very young baby. She was resting, lying down,  and hiding the baby. After about 5 minutes she moved, putting the baby on her back, and then went into the thick bush.

Females resting.

The blackback Jeshi was not eating but was charging, moving around the females, and trying to intimidate and disturb us during the visit by grabbing bamboo shoots and then trying to push them down on us. However, Kabirizi was so quiet and peaceful this visit, eating, moving, and looking around with some juveniles playing and eating around him. The rest of the group was in the thick vegetation eating and some adult females were resting under bamboo trees.