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Teenage gorilla is always around as a babysitter whenever a mom needs help


“And her babysitting allows the mothers to have a vacation from motherhood.” In Rwanda’s Virunga Mountains, there is a huge population of endangered mountain gorillas. And all diligent moms, whether humans or gorillas require a rest from time to time. Gutangara, a mother gorilla, was lately fatigued after caring for her youngster all day and night. So Ubukombe stepped up and took on the responsibility of caring for the infant on her alone.

The gorillas are part of a historic gorilla discovery known as Pablo’s Group, which has been tracked by the Fossey Fund. Gutangara, the weary mother gorilla, has seven live children and is thus the group’s most successful female gorilla. She is frequently swamped with too many children, thus life would be very tough for a woman like Gutangara if it weren’t for volunteers like Ubukombe. “Babysitting is observed in gorillas, but more frequently in certain groups than others, and by some gorillas more than others,” Donna explained.


“During rest time, many adults sleep while the young gorillas play or are groomed by other adults.” Ubukombe’s ability to babysit is all the more astounding given that she is just six years old. Mountain gorillas are exceedingly uncommon, with just around 1,000 remaining in the world, thus Ubukombe’s babysitting services benefit both her species and the moms.

“The sooner the newborn grows independent, the sooner the mother can have another child,” Gorman explained. “A gorilla mother normally takes three and a half to four years to wean her kid, and they do not get pregnant during that period.”


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