Playing with the gorillas

Rafe and I once again ventured to the zoo. Our primate highlight this trip: the baby gorilla! The last time we were there the little girl was more interested in snuggling with her mom and sister, but this time she was ready to play!(and eat bark, but to each her own).

It was fascinating to see the baby and her older sister playing together. The sister would pound her chest as the play signal to start chasing her, and the baby would start chasing the sister in circles around their mom. The baby tried it a couple of times, but couldn’t quite get it down, so she looked like she was trying the rub-belly/pat-head trick that kids try. The two would also play wrestle a little, and then start chasing again. Usually the baby chased the sister, I think the sister chased the baby once.

The sister also carried the baby under her belly and on her back, letting the baby jump off.

The mom was pretty patient with the whole thing, only reaching in a couple of times and pulling the baby out of the play fighting to calm her down, or to breastfeed her. The way that kid went for the nipple man, WOW, poor mom.

Since I am studying play right now for my thesis, watching these two spend time playing was just fascinating and made my week!

I felt so honored to see this family hanging out, getting along, and playing.

See more photos on my flickr.