November 11, 2011
Trackers Herd Kuryama's Group Into Park, Continue Search for Missing Gorillas
Today Kuryama’s group was still outside the park, and trackers “herded” them back into the park borders again. This time it took more than three hours, with trackers forming a line to prevent the gorillas from moving downhill, and lots of waiting as the gorillas slowly made their way up to the park. Titus group, which had also ranged out the park recently, was not located at all today, and apparently are in the dense bamboo area of Cundura hill, crossing the trail of another group and making tracking difficult.
There was good news today when trackers found mother Mahirwe safe and sound with her new infant in the group. However, they have still not located females Umusatsi and Umutekano, who both have infants and were not in their group as of yesterday. A large team searched for them today, without success, and a count of night nests showed they were not in the group overnight either. Umusatsi has been known to go off on her own before, and her youngster is already 4 years old. But Umutekano’s infant is only 2 years old and could be susceptible to infanticide if they meet up with a lone silverback or end up in another group.
Lone silverback Turatsinze still has female “Fat” with him, and they were followed all morning, although Turatsinze did not allow the trackers to get close enough for detailed behavioral observations.
Veronica Vecellio, Gorilla Program Manager