Great Ape Father Figures

For Evolution

Show notes from this video on YouTube:

“At the Senkwekwe Center for mountain gorilla orphans in Congo, a handful of Virunga National Park rangers live around the clock with four juveniles whose parents were killed. The rangers see their families only every few weeks and are very close to their charges. Chief caretaker André Bauma along with his team have hand-raised the gorillas since they were first brought to the center. The first gorilla, Ndakasi, was found when she was just two months old, near the body of her murdered mother. Bauma cared for her like a human child—letting her sleep on his chest for warmth and bottle-feeding her to help build her strength. After that, three more orphaned gorillas joined “the family” at the center. Since no mountain gorilla orphan has ever been successfully returned to the wild, they will always depend on humans.”

Are these gorilla caretakers interacting appropriately with the gorillas?  Are they teaching the orphans how to be parents similar to wild gorillas?  Keep these questions in mind as you read about this new study that documented gorilla father behavior over a few decades.

 

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