Growing up with Mijadala
Can’t get enough of baby gorilla Mijadala? Neither can we! As she is nearing her second birthday (September 18), we see her personality and independence developing more every day. While she still sticks close to mom Kudzoo, these days she is much more independent and can be seen wandering off to initiate play with her siblings, particularly older sister Merry Leigh. This playtime is very important for juvenile gorillas, as it allows them to positively socialize with others and practice some of the behaviors they see the adults doing, namely chest-beats and displays … not to mention, it’s fun! Mijadala routinely practices her chest-beats toward her siblings, although around half the time she knocks herself over which is utterly adorable. These instances also give her older sisters Merry Leigh, Anaka and Andi a chance to practice mothering behaviors, which will serve them well later in life when they have offspring of their own. And let me just say, the practice is paying off as we are already seeing all three of them no longer holding Mijadala upside down – progress indeed.
In her downtime, however, this young gorilla is observed snuggling close to Kudzoo and Merry Leigh, watching them closely as they forage for food, manipulate puzzle feeders, and pick out the best pieces of browse. During this time, Mijadala is learning invaluable information and techniques that she will utilize on her own in the future. Female gorillas teach their youngsters everything they need to know about being a gorilla, including how to retrieve food, how to build nests, and how to communicate with other troop members, among many others. Therefore, it is vital that she pays close attention to those around her.
Interested in seeing what Mijadala is up to? Check out Gorilla Habitat 3 in The Ford African Rain Forest to see this little one and the rest of her family!
Keeper II, Primates