Lulingu was named after the village near Kahuzi-Biega National Park where she was confiscated in 2016. She arrived at GRACE in June 2016 and underwent quarantine, with around-the-clock care from human caregivers, to stabilize her health and slowly help her adapt to her new environment.
Lulingu was then introduced to the alpha female, Pinga. Pinga scooped her up immediately and began walking around, holding her in a protective posture, just like a new gorilla mother. Once they had become acquainted, the pair went outside to join the rest of the group. Lulingu is the youngest gorilla at GRACE. Most gorillas are between two and three years old when they arrive at GRACE, but Lulingu was only 18 months old. All of the older females love Lulingu and try to carry her whenever her surrogate mother Pinga will let them.
When Lulingu arrived at GRACE, she was very independent. On her first day in the forest, she immediately climbed a tree and made her own nest! She has since grown increasingly more confident and now loves to play, play, play! Female Isangi is her favorite playmate, but she will play with anyone who is willing. Lulingu is very interested in playing with her adoptive big brother Shamavu, but he doesn’t always reciprocate that interest! The GRACE caregivers think Lulingu (sometimes called “Luli”) is the perfect little gorilla because she always takes her food and medicines and loves the forest. She is adventurous and loves to climb high in trees.
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