Gorilla’s hugging

Hugging is used by humans to express love and concern for others. It seems gorillas use this behaviour the same way. The other day Mekome and Ekendi became separated from the group. The others were feeding over 200 metres away. It didn’t seem to upset Mekome too much but Ekendi began to call and call getting more hysterical. I’ve seen Ekendi do this before, he will be with one parent but will start hysterically calling the other parent, even though he can see Kingo or Mekome and they will respond to him so he knows he isn’t lost. Finally Kingo and Kusu came to “rescue” Ekendi and the first thing Kusu did was rush up and put his arms around Ekendi. And yesterday Kingo charged Mekome. Ekendi was with Kingo and when Kingo was standing next to Mekome with all his hair bristling and she was cowering on the ground, Ekendi rushed up to Mekome and, you guessed it, hugged her. It always amazes me when I see gorillas expressing behaviours that we as humans so readily identify with.

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