From Wildlife Extra:
Young mountain gorillas observed destroying poachers’ snares for the first time!
Some gorillas have learned to recognise and remoce snares – Sadly not all
July 2012. Field staff of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund observed several young gorillas in Rwanda, from a family of gorillas known as Kuryama’s group, destroying snares set by poachers!
Deactivated 2 snares
“We knew that gorillas do this but all of the reported cases in the past were carried out by adult gorillas, mostly silverbacks,” said Veronica Vecellio, gorilla program coordinator at the Karisoke Research Center. “Today, two juveniles and one blackback from Kuryama’s group worked together to deactivate two snares and how they did it demonstrated an impressive cognitive skill.”
Gorilla killed by snare – Second this year
Snares set by poachers are one of the worst threats to the safety of the mountain gorillas. The timing of this is especially significant in light of the death just two days ago, on Sunday, of juvenile Ngwino, who was caught in a snare. The rope made severe cuts into her leg, resulting in gangrene, as well as a dislocated shoulder caused by trying to escape from the snare. Although Fossey Fund staff intervened and, with vets from the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project (MGVP), made every effort to save her, it was too late. Hers is the second death this year resulting from a gorilla being caught in a poacher’s snare.
Young gorillas destroying snares
John Ndayambaje, Fossey Fund field data coordinator, reported that he saw one snare very close to the group; since the gorillas were moving in that direction, he decided to deactivate it. Silverback Vuba pig-grunted at him (a vocalization of warning) and at the same time juveniles Dukore and Rwema together with blackback Tetero ran toward the snare and together pulled the branch used to hold the rope. They saw another snare nearby and as quickly as before they destroyed the second branch and pulled the rope out of the ground.
Four snares removed by trackers
Four other snares were also removed by our trackers in the same area.
“Our battle to detect and destroy snares from the park is far from over, however, and the recent death of Ngwino, has given us all further motivation. Today we can proudly confirm that gorillas are doing their part too!” said Felix Ndagijimana, director of the Karisoke Center.
More about Dian Fossey and gorillas here.
See also here.
July 2012. Despite of the ongoing civil war in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the government authorities and M23 rebel commanders have authorized the park’s rangers to search for the missing gorilla families in rebel-held territory in the Mountain Gorilla Sector of Congo’s Virunga National Park. On Tuesday 24 July, a team of 45 rangers will begin a multi-day operation to find and monitor the condition of six mountain gorilla families, some which have not been seen for over 10 weeks: here.
Gorilla brothers reunited: here.
Mountain gorilla population recovering: here.
September 2012. Over the last 30 years, great ape numbers have plummeted across Africa, due to increasing rates of commercial hunting, habitat destruction, and disease. A continent-wide, data-based overview of their habitats is now possible, as the results of surveys from over 60 sites have been combined through the IUCN/SSC A.P.E.S. (Ape Populations, Environments and Surveys) database: here.
July 2012. The illegal primate trade in Indonesia remains high in two big cities in the country: Jakarta and Palembang (South Sumatra). The investigative report of ProFauna Indonesia and the International Primate Protection League (IPPL) shows that dozens of primates are killed for the meat and brain as delicacies every month in both cities: here
- Can Ecotourism Save the Great Apes? (harvardpress.typepad.com)
- Women Who Changed the World Through Science & Engineering: Dian Fossey [USA Science and Engineering Festival: The Blog] (scienceblogs.com)
- Mountain Gorillas vs. Poachers (timzimmermann.com)
- No One Loved Gorilla’s More !. (planetfocus.wordpress.com)
- OKC Zoo hosts event to help gorillas (kfor.com)
- Orphan Baby Gorillas Rescued From Poachers (neatorama.com)
- Touched by a mountain gorilla (boingboing.net)
- World First: Gorilla Family to Be Released Into Wild (newser.com)
- Watch: A chance encounter with mountain gorillas (mnn.com)
- Dougie Poynter Becomes Wildlife Ambassador (contactmusic.com)