Thursday, May 10, 2007

Puck the Mountain Gorilla has died

Very sad news from this month's Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund Field News. Puck, a 38-year-old female, who was one of the most well-studied of all mountain gorillas, died on April 10th.
Puck is mentioned several times (and with affection) in Fossey’s book “Gorillas in the Mist,” and Fossey notes that she had thought Puck was a male – right up until the time she gave birth to her first offspring. This first offspring (which Fossey named “Cantsbee” because she exclaimed “It can’t be” when the supposedly male Puck gave birth), is now the dominant silverback of Pablo’s group, which is the largest gorilla group ever recorded and is closely monitored by our staff at Karisoke every day.
In happier news, they also mention that Kanama, an 11-year-old female in Shinda’s group, gave birth to her first baby last month.
Her new role as a mother obliged Kanama to grow up suddenly, and to leave behind the indefatigable childish energy of her own! Just days before the birth, Kanama was playing and rolling around with her 3-year-old sister, Kubana, and with other infant and juvenile friends in the group.

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