February 11, 2011
Orphaned Gorillas Outgrowing Temporary Facility
As they await transfer to the GRACE gorilla rescue center in Congo, I am told that the six orphaned gorillas in temporary facility in Kinigi, Rwanda, are getting large, lazy and a bit bored. They are literally outgrowing the place and are ready to move to GRACE, where we will begin to "de-habituate" them from their human caregivers and prepare them for eventual release to the wild.
Last year, we were lucky to have the United Nations mission in Congo available to airlift the first group of rescued gorillas to GRACE, from a different temporary facility in Goma. These four, who are much younger, are now doing so well, going out into the forest every day with their caregivers and eating mainly forest foods. Recently, a fifth young orphan — Kyasa — arrived at GRACE and began a very successful recovery from the traumatic experience of being captured by animal traffickers.
We are grateful to be receiving support from around the world for our internet-based fundraising campaign to build a special forest fence at GRACE, so the six gorillas from Kinigi will be safe when they arrive and are ready for the forest. A generous donor is matching every dollar right now and people are donating from Australia, Asia, Europe and the U.S. Thank you to everyone!
I am preparing to leave for Rwanda next week, as we have our board of trustees meeting there. Stay tuned for reports from the field in Africa….