On November 19th, Malui gave birth to a much anticipated baby. The trackers, who get the honors of naming all the individuals, decided to name it “Ngombe” after the type of tree in which they believe the baby was born (how they know, we have no idea—the baby was born during the night).
The first time I went to see the family after the baby’s birth, the baby proved to be very tricky to see. Malui, understandably, is very protective of her new child. The last time she was pregnant, she gave birth to a stillborn child that she stubbornly carried around for a couple of days. Gorillas are known to sometimes “mourn” their dead for days after.
First, we got a glimpse of an ear…
Then, his face!
With a little patience, we finally got a good look at him. He has a furry tuft of hair on his head, but his body is otherwise naked just like a human baby!
According to the textbooks, newborn babies are carried on their mothers’ stomach. But Malui has always preferred carrying hers on her back. That’s a smear of baby poop on the left of Ngombe.
Ngombe, like his siblings, seems to have inherited his mother’s nose. Nevertheless, he’s an adorable little thing. Can you believe people used to eat gorillas? And they still do, though thankfully much less often. More pictures coming soon!