March 6, 2015
Two silverbacks missing from Ntambara’s group
Although the causes and details are still unclear, both leading silverbacks from Ntambara’s group are no longer in their group, after each developed health problems.
The first case was that of second-ranking silverback Ntambara (29 years old) who went missing from the group on Feb. 6. A few days prior to his disappearance, he had shown some signs of illness, though these were not considered alarming at the time, since his activities seemed to be normal.
On Feb. 17, his brother Ugutsinda, who is the dominant silverback of the group, began to show similar symptoms, including a swollen face. He also began moving and feeding more slowly and his general appearance was also abnormal. Despite his condition, he was generally keeping up with the group.
On Feb. 28, the group moved into a deep ravine and our trackers are not able to see them in that area. We hope to find the group soon and see whether Ugutsinda is with them.
This group does have a third silverback ─ Twibuke ─ who has led the group during this interim stage and perhaps will become dominant if Ugutsinda does not survive.
Stay tuned for more information about this important group, as it becomes available.