March 24, 2011
Waiting for another newly confiscated orphaned gorilla
We are just getting word from our field folks in Congo of another orphaned gorilla that has been confiscated from poachers. We believe it to be a Grauer's gorilla because of the area in Walikale where it was confiscated, through the good work of our partners, ICCN, the Congolese wildlife authorities. It is on its way now to our temporary quarantine facility at the UGADEC headquarters in Goma. (UGADEC is an association of community-based reserves in Congo.) Here it will receive an assessment, health check and the necessary medical care. The plan is then to bring the orphan to the new GRACE center in Congo, where facilities are available for its longer-term care.
Many partners are involved in this kind of situation and are working together right now to organize transportation, paperwork, veterinary care, initial assessments and final plans. The GRACE center is fully prepared to care for the young orphan, who would be in quarantine from the other gorillas for about a month, the normal procedure. Then, if all goes well, it would be introduced to the other rescued gorillas already there.
We are also in the midst of planning transportation for 6 gorillas in temporary facilities in Rwanda to go to GRACE, which should happen next month.
The appearance of this new orphan is exactly why the GRACE center was founded. Not only can these rescued gorillas receive care there, but they will be socialized with other gorillas, learn skills for living in the wild, and hopefully be reintroduced one day to the wild in new groups. These are difficult circumstances so we all must hope that everything goes well!