Gorilla Doctors is dedicated to saving the mountain gorilla species one gorilla patient at a time. Our international veterinarian team provides hands-on medical care to sick and injured mountain gorillas living in the national parks of Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). With only 880 mountain gorillas left in the world today, the health and well being of every individual gorilla is vital to the species’ survival.
In addition to providing mountain gorillas with healthcare, our veterinary team monitors the health of DRC’s Grauer’s, or eastern lowland, gorillas and intervenes to help sick individuals when possible. The Gorilla Doctors also help rescue and treat mountain and Grauer’s gorillas orphaned by poachers.
Our Proven Success
While critically endangered, mountain gorillas are the only great ape species whose numbers in the wild are growing in number. A 2010 census of the entire population living in the Virunga Volcanoes Massif showed a remarkable population increase of 26.3% over the previous 7 years. A 2011 study* of this same population showed that over a 22-year period the number of habituated gorillas—about 70% of the overall population—increased by 4.1% annually while the number of unhabituated gorillas decreased by 0.7% annually. Habituated gorillas are gorillas that have learned to accept humans in close proximity. The difference in these growth rates was attributed to the fact that habituated gorillas benefited from “extreme conservation” practices such as veterinary care. In fact, the work of the Gorilla Doctors may be responsible for up to 40% of the difference between the growth rates of the two subpopulations. Mountain gorillas have a fighting chance for survival if we continue to work to address conservation challenges.
The Gorilla Doctors healthcare program includes:
The work of Gorilla Doctors would not be possible without the collaboration of the wildlife authorities of the countries where mountain gorillas live: the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), L’Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN), and the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). We also work with a number of other gorilla conservation groups, especially the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (DFGFI) and the International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP).
As a 501(c)3-registered nonprofit organization, we are funded solely through grants and donations. Our tax ID is 06-1752363.
*PLoS One 6(6) e19788