BAKUNZI – ADULT FEMALE
Meaning of name: Rukiga for ‘friendly’
Age: Unknown; however it seems she’s well on in years.
Who’s yo daddy? Father unknown
Who’s yo mama? Mother unknown
Generally speaking, a woman’s heart doesn’t lie. This applies to humans and it could be true of mountain gorillas as well. Whereas in gorilla families any adult male can mate with any female at will and whim, it has been noted that the adult females have their favourite males and will show this by spending more time in the presence of their favourite. In this family it is interesting to observe which female favours Nshongi over Mishaya, and better still, to try and figure out why.
By and large Bakunzi is a very friendly female gorilla. She was the first female to take to the trackers during habituation. While it was still norm for other females to flee on sighting the trackers, Bakunzi got over her fear and would keenly observe the humans to see what they were up to.
Bakunzi favours Nshongi over the other silverbacks and can often be seen in his company. It could be that she prefers the more aggressive type of man or simply because she has a baby and is more certain of care and protection from Nshongi, a guarantee she cannot count on from the more placid Mishaya.
She is the proud mother of an infant who currently goes under the moniker ‘Fortunate.’