Silverback Cantsbee Found in Good Health

October 19, 2011

Silverback Cantsbee Found in Good Health

Karisoke researcher Stacy Rosenbaum brought great news down from the mountain today: Our elderly silverback Cantsbee seems to be just fine, feeding and behaving normally again.

When the field team reached Pablo's group this morning, Cantsbee was in a new, leafy day nest about 200-250 meters up from where Dr. Eckardt's team had left them yesterday. The 32-year-old silverback had evidently risen from his night nest and traveled up the slopes to meet the rest of his group yesterday evening. Rosenbaum reported that when she arrived she saw Cantsbee, along with all of the other gorillas, hunched over and shivering, apparently miserable from the extreme cold and constant rain.

At 12:45 p.m. the rain ceased and it warmed up slightly, but the sun didn't come out from behind the dense clouds. With the slight reprieve from the cold, the gorillas resumed normal behavior and feeding, Cantsbee being the first to rise from his nest. The silverback fed continuously until 2 p.m. As the data collection period was coming to a close, beta male Gicurasi slowly led the majority of the group further up the slope. However, when Cantsbee let out a loud hoot vocalization, the big group of gorillas turned to head back downhill and follow the dominant silverback.

Everyone at the Fossey Fund is thrilled that Cantsbee seems to be in good health and hopes that he will take the opportunity to lead Pablo's group a little further down the slopes of the Karisimbi volcano, where they can enjoy warmer temperatures and perhaps bask in some sunlight!

Jessica Burbridge, Field Communications Officer