Icyogere with a snare caught on his left hand

By Drs. Noel Bosco & Gaspard Nzayisenga

On December 21, 2016 our team trekked into Volcanoes National Park Rwanda to conduct a veterinary assessment and intervention for Icyogere, a 2-year old infant in the Susa-Kurira group who had been seen walking with a wire snare caught on his left arm.

We found him with a one meter-long wire snare wrapped tightly around his left wrist and the hand appeared swollen. After an initial visual assessment our team decided to carry out a full intervention.

The immobilization plan was a bit tricky because both Icyogere’s mother Umucyo and silverback father Kurira had strong bonds with their infant. This made it harder to predict which parent would carry Icyogere once he’d been anesthetized.

Dr. Noel examining Icyogere's hand after the snare had been removed

Dr. Noel examining Icyogere’s hand

At 2:35PM we managed to dart Icyogere. His mother picked him up after he’d been anesthetized but after waiting approximately 15 minutes she put him back down and we were able to reach the infant for treatment without interference from either of his parents. Within 30 minutes we were able to remove the snare, examine the lesion on the left wrist, treat Icyogere with antibiotics, and reverse the anesthesia.

We released Icyogere back tot he group and we were able to observe him reuniting with his mother. By this time the group was more aggressive towards us so we were unable to continue observations for that day.

gorilla doctors icyogere

Icyogere being returned to his family

Follow-up on December 23, 2016:

Two days after the intervention the team was able to observe Icyogere. He showed some signs of pain when grasping plants for feeding and when he climbed up and down the bamboo during playtime with the other infants. There is a small healing wound on the dorsal side of the wrist that had been caused by the snare. The hand is not yet in full use; fortunately, the swelling is gone and we expect a full recovery in hand function now that the snare has been removed.

Icyogere's left hand is still sensitive

Icyogere’s left hand is still sensitive


Icyogere’s left hand is healing