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Fri, August 19, 2011

Still Searching for Males Missing from Pablo’s Group

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August 19, 2011

Still Searching for Males Missing from Pablo’s Group

Special search teams have returned after a day of looking for silverbacks Twihangane and Gushimira and blackback Irakoze, but the three males missing from Pablo's group were not found.

Today two trackers from the team that follows Pablo's group, two anti-poaching trackers and 11 persons from the Rwandan parks authority (Rwandan Development Board) had divided into four teams to search extensively for any traces of the males. They started out from the August 16 night nesting site, which included the nests of the three males.

All other gorillas in Pablo's group are fine and calm.

Just a few words about the two silverbacks Twihangane and Gushimira: In the past few months they have been peripheral to the group and rarely interacted with any of the group members. This is not unusual for males of their age. Irakoze's movements are less predictable. It would be extremely interesting and important to figure out if the three males are actually travelling together. A more common pattern is for silverbacks in multi-male groups to split off with one or more females, or to strike out on their own as "lone silverbacks," several of whom we monitor.

Tomorrow we will continue the searching.

Veronica

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