Silverback gorilla in Sabyinyo group treated for respiratory infection

Silverback Gihishamwotsi of Sabyinyo group

On February 2nd, Gorilla Doctors veterinarians Drs. Gaspard and Methode, accompanied by RDB veterinarian Dr. Elizabeth, hiked into Volcanoes National Park to follow-up on reports from park trackers that several members of Sabyinyo group were showing signs of respiratory illness. Silverback Gihishamwotsi in particular was quite sick, and his condition had worsened over the previous days. Our Gorilla Doctors were prepared to conduct a clinical intervention if deemed necessary.

The team found Sabyinyo group in the Mukago area of the park, actively feeding on bamboo shoots. Gihishamwotsi seemed to have less of an appetite compared to others in his group, and he coughed whenever he had to move. Drs. Gaspard and Methode said that “even his face showed signs of fatigue and lethargy.”

Sleepy silverback gorilla Gihishamwotsi in Sabyinyo group

Silverback Gihishamwotsi looks lethargic and sleepy

After a consultation with Volcanoes National Park authorities, Dr. Gaspard darted Gihishamwottsi with an antibiotic and a pain-reliever.

Gorilla Doctors veterinarian prepping dart for veterinary intervention

Gorilla trackers and our veterinarians continued to monitor Gihishamwotsi and members of his Sabyinyo family as they suffered through this respiratory disease outbreak. Fortunately, Gihishamwotsi responded well to his treatment by Gorilla Doctors, and the whole family is now healthy.