By Dr. Luis Flores
I arrived at the Centre de Rehabilitation des Primates de Lwiro in the Democratic Republic of the Congo last October 17, 2016. I love working here and have a very nice relationship with the local people as well as our Congolese partners, which is one of the most important things to have success in our daily work here.

Lwiro is the biggest primate sanctuary in east Africa, currently housing 75 chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and 91 other monkeys of various species. The first thing I’ve been working on since arriving here is to carry out diagnostics of the situation at the sanctuary. I found many things done well when I arrived and it was simply a matter of setting up a consistent organizational structure. I have been reviewing protocols and have implemented necessary changes.

During this time I have been working with the Lwiro team to focus on improving and standardizing general chimpanzee health checks. This work is part of Gorilla Doctors’ mission to develop a training program for Congolese veterinarians to build their capacity to spearhead local primate conservation efforts.

I earned my veterinary degree at the Faculty of Veterinary Science of Cordoba in Spain. When I finished my studies I worked in the veterinary department of ZooBotanico Jerez before moving to continue my work as a wildlife and zoo veterinarian in Bolivia. In 2002, I created Wildvets with a colleague and began developing my skills as a primate veterinarian through our partnership with Rainfer, a rescue center for primates in Spain. During all of my years working in different aspects of veterinary medicine, since 2003 I have focused in primate medicine and I really enjoy this direction my career has taken. I am really happy to be part of this project with Gorilla Doctors.

Dr. Luis Flores with Gorilla Doctors & Lwiro staff