Monday, October 18, 2010

Journey to the Past Series Part 2: Western Lowland Gorillas

Throughout the years I have gotten to know an interesting Gorilla Troop at the San Francisco Zoo and the Gorillas have gotten to know me also. There are actually two gorillas I have gotten to know the most which is Oscar Jonesy the Gorilla Troops Silverback and his half sister Zura. When I visit with the gorillas I sit there for several hours just watching them and studying their behaviors when I am taking their photographs. Oscar Jonesy and Zura love to sit right in front of me when I am visiting with them. When Oscar is right in front of me he will watch me and people are surprised by the attention he is giving to me and the camera. Zura is actually my favorite she will come up and make faces and will stick her tongue out at the camera. She also does the sign language symbol for love. Zura also laughs a lot while having fun for the camera. Zura also knows a bad symbol that she has picked up from the crowd which is if she does not like you she will flick you off. I've never had her do that to me but other photographer friends have told me she has done it to them. There has been several cases that I have actually been able to calm Zura down when she is upset. She gets upset a lot when a new Docent comes up to the exhibit and they don't realize that her and Oscar Jonesy do not like the uniform that the Docent is wearing. Zura and Oscar Jonesy get really upset about this uniform for some reason not sure why. When Zura sees me she actually starts to calm down and when I realize it is the Docent setting her off I have to ask the Docent to take off the jacket or just step back from the exhibit. Docents who have been volunteering at the zoo for a long time know that the jacket comes off if you approach the Gorilla Exhibit.

Here are some of my favorite photos I have taken of the San Francisco Zoo Gorilla Troop:

Oscar Jonesy Smiling - I spoke his name and he turned around and smiled at me

Zura - She looks like she is thinking

Oscar Jonesy - He looks Buff

Bawang the Matriarch

Nneka Bawang's daughter up in a Gorilla nest

Monifa - this photo was used across the United States in the News when Monifa refused to take care of her new born baby boy Hasani

Hasani the youngest of the Gorilla Troop

Black and White Portrait of Oscar Jonesy

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