Makumba (the silverback)

Makumba the silverback (Copyright by Michelle Klailova)Makumba, meaning “with speed”, is the silverback of the group. A good-looking gorilla with a tall crest, muscular form, and a heart-shaped nose. He is predominantly calm and is often found waiting patiently for lagging group members to catch-up; he spends a significant amount of his time resting or sleeping. Makumba is usually found with an ‘entourage’ of infants trundling along after him, finding security and comfort at his side.

However, being the group’s protective leader, he can at times show considerable turns of speed, power, and aggression. He can cover 30m in seconds, break trees clean over, stand between bull elephants and the rest of the group as they pass-by, and if necessary use his impressive canines to inflict significant injuries. His proven success as the leader of the group for over 10 years has resulted in a healthy family group with 12 offspring, all but one surviving.