Jean-Claude, keeper at enclosure 2 had recently noticed that Likasi’s baby seemed to be losing weight, keeping an extra close eye on Likasi and her baby, Elonga, he soon realized with amazement that someone was stealing the little one’s milk right from her mother’s teat! Who is the culprit you ask? Well, our very own Mbandaka, the dominant male of the group … whenever he gets the chance he suckles Likasi, who not only shows no objection but even offers her breast to him herself!
Elonga’s young life being threatened by this behaviour, a decision was quickly made to move Likasi into enclosure 3. At first she cooperated, but then she suddenly decided to sit comfortably at the top of a tree and refuse to budge. Jean-Claude had the bright idea to involve some of the mamas and babies from the nursery. Indeed, her curiosity got the best of her, and Likasi left her perch in order to follow all these people come to accompany her to her new forest.
Isiro, who had shared and enclosure with Likasi in the past, was the first to greet her, and even stopped the other members of the group from coming too close, as if she was a bodyguard.
On the first evening Likasi headed in direction of the night enclosure without any hesitation, she was even the first to go inside.
The arrival of a new baby in the enclosure has captured the interest of Sanza, Tchilomba’s little female who seems to have one wish… to be able to play with Elonga. Sadly she is going to have to be patient and give Elonga the chance to gain her strength back and grow up a bit…
Mbandaka suckling Likasi ! Caught in the act…
With concern on her face: Where are they taking me?
The healthcare team and the mamas and babies encourage Likasi as she walks towards the new enclosure…
Brave Likasi goes through the doors and into enclosure 3 without any hesitation
The whole group in enclosure 3 heads off to meet Likasi, concealed in the forest, soon to be held back by Isiro, preventing anyone from approaching her friend.
Photos: Emilie Genty