BUKOZO – ADULT FEMALE
Meaning of name: The sap from one of the indigenous trees (Symphonia Groblifera), which grows in this region, is used as glue. With time this glue, called ‘obukozo’ in Rukiga, turns black. Bukozo’s name is derived from this because she is very dark.
Who’s yo daddy? Father unknown
Who’s yo mama? Mother unknown
‘The gorilla who cried wolf’ pretty much sums up this shrewd female gorilla. The habituating trackers found it particularly hard to make headway in befriending her. On sighting them, she would charge screaming at the full strength of her gorilla lungs.
One can only imagine how this would make the family react to the distress cries of a nursing mother. The silverback’s Nshongi and Kakono, would spring into action; arise thumping their chests and, as Nshongi charged at the trackers, Kakono would herd the other females and children away from danger.
Even after most of the family had become accustomed to the non-threatening trackers, many a peaceful afternoon rest periods would be disrupted by Bukozo’s piercing screams and charges. When she noticed that her cries of alarm no longer caused the group’s knee-jerk reaction to fight or flee in panic, she changed her tactics.
She would grab her baby and charge at the trackers. This would usually compel protective Nshongi to join her charge. The scheme was successful; for a while. He soon caught on to her bluff, and would watch her charge at the trackers as he reposed eating or resting. Madame Bukozo would then sheepishly join the group, meek as a lamb and even though she has ceased her drama, she always mumbles and grunts to express her disapproval on sighting visitors and trackers.
Bukozo is currently nursing an infant and is suspected to be the mother of Bwiruka.