Gorillas and other animals (1. antelope)

Sorry for the delay of this post, we had few problems with the satellite antenna these last weeks!! Here is the Kingo story about encounter with other animals…
Few days ago, all members of Kingo’s group were sleeping after a morning of traveling around “gathering” bokoko and nguluma fruits. I was sitting close to Mekome with the microphone ready to record any vocalization of her or Ekendi, while Julia was close to Kingo. For the data collection, she control the activity of all members at constant intervals, so with Fini Samedi she start to look for Fini, who was not in sight as the others. They decide to go around 20-30 meters from the center of the group, in the nearby ebuka. Well, at one point Fini Samedi show a big antelope sitting in the thicket to Julia who wants to get a picture. The beautiful animal was surely resting too, and was extremely surprise to see those two biped primates coming close. He/She looked at them for a while and then, before Julia could take a picture, decided to run away. The poor animal ran towards Mpketa and me. Of course as soon it realized changed direction and headed towards Kingo, for then change again. In the meantime all gorillas stand up, scared by the sudden strong noise of a running animal. All in travel-pose, trying to get was going on ready to fly if it was an elephant or another more dangerous animal…but all still with sleepy faces…it was hilarious. After seeing the antelope, they stood few more minutes checking the area for then going back to sleep (the night before there has been a lot of rain, that I doubt they slept at all!!).
In other cases I saw Kingo bark, his alarm call, after specific calls of other animals. Many monkey species react in specific way to other species alarm calls (i.e. see guenon interspecific alarm calls), but react to other completely different species is quite rare. Humans, for example hunters and gathers societies have learn to find honey following specific birds. Some of the Baihaka associate danger to many other alarm calls, especially of birds which normaly call if they see snakes. This month we will try some playbacks to see if the reaction we observed is really caused from those calls, if the experiment works we will let you know more about.

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