Victoriously marching around the planet, the year of the eastern monkey, decided to look into a small town with the unpretentious name Granby, which was leisurely located in the southern spurs of Quebec. The city-forming enterprise of this small (only 70K inhabitants) village is the zoo, one of the largest in Canada. The animals that have fled here, almost from all corners of the world, feel safe and calm. Well, it’s straight, almost like runaway fuses from those corners …
We, walking along the shady alleys of the park, became interested in aviaries with our closest (by evolution, and not by the registry office) relatives – primates. The Afrika Pavilion is essentially an invasion of the rainforest and the African savannah at the same time. Without a doubt, it is one of the main exciting motives for a visit to the Granby Zoo. 3 here we are all curious visitors, we suddenly feel that we left North America on another continent! In the very center, about ten species of the most beloved African animals await you. And the most exotic of them is the flat (western) gorilla. Or rather, as many as three black-haired brothers, born of the efforts of the workers of the Calgary Zoo. The children were left with their African names – N’Sabi, Zwalani, Jawara, not forcing, according to the Quebec tradition, to switch to the mother’s surname upon arrival. These three muscular brunettes share, one for three, the thick-glass housing in the best area of Granby – Western Lowland Gorilla. While everything is going peacefully. Or maybe it’s just that the workers of the zoo conduct there what kind of social experiment and in the future we will also be obliged to live according to the results of this experiment? Wait and see!
Gorillas are the largest monkeys on the planet. The gorilla’s DNA is 98 percent the same as human DNA, so they are one of the closest relatives of modern humans, including baboons and chimpanzees. For most of his life, the gorilla wears a brown-black coat with thick, stiff hair. With age, hair begins to turn gray and fall out – an adult dark gorilla turns into a “silver animal”. They are 6 times stronger than humans, although the males are the same height with us (160-180cm), and the females are even smaller (140-150cm). However, the national team of any country in any fight, including sumo, wants to get such an athlete! At a New York Zoo, some boxing fan decided to shake the gorilla teen’s paw through the bars. After a peaceful mutual handshake, the unlucky athlete was sent to the hospital … Powerful shoulders with huge arms are able to break large branches and small trees. An adult animal can easily tear, for example, a banana tree into pieces, to search inside its young core. While chewing food, they often smack their lips and grumble with pleasure. Gorillas really love to eat. And a dense forest for them is equivalent to a large green restaurant! And environmentally friendly. These giants are picky eaters. They choose and eat what they like best. Despite their rather fierce appearance, gorillas are staunch vegetarians. In some plants they consume only leaves, in others they consume only roots. It has been observed that while eating, animals can carefully stack food they don’t need in a neat pile.
For more than a decade, genetics have been rushing with the idea of “twinning” a person with monkeys like him (not without reason the four-armed are really more like us than sharks or giraffes) and have recently taken a new step in this direction. After “interrogating” the genes of the largest humanoid primacy, one can see similarities and differences with human genes. Scientists analyzed more than 11,000 genes for humans, chimpanzees and gorillas. The results of the study clearly showed that humans are genetically closer to gorillas than to chimpanzees, by as much as 15%. The age of this difference (genetic nature) is about 10 million years.
Mountain gorillas (aka Gorilla gorilla beringei) are the largest and most interesting of all subspecies. Not a single mountain gorilla is kept in captivity. Under natural conditions, no more than 600 individuals remained. They were found in the region of Virunga volcanoes, in the Congo, they were studied by the famous wildlife researcher Diane Foss, who unfortunately died at the hands of poachers. Remember the movie “Gorillas in the Fog” (1988)? The main gorilla in the group is a silver-backed male. This giant behaves like a leader and patron, and not like a despot. Without it, a group cannot exist for a long time and, in the event of its sudden death, usually breaks up. Among females, there is also a dominant one, which this male likes more and as a result has more children from him. It can be small or large, and the superiority of the “first lady” depends purely on individual qualities. And yet, the gorillas have a classic harem, with an older husband, three to five wives and one or two young males, striving to bite off their share of the forbidden fruit.