The latest census results of mountain gorillas living in the Virunga Massif is news worth celebrating! There are now 604 gorillas in 2016 compared to 480 in 2010. When combined with the estimated 400 gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda, there are now 1,004 mountain gorillas surviving in the wild — more than ever before.

“These numbers are truly remarkable, far exceeding our expectations, and are the result of a collaborative, three-country effort with governments and partners all playing an important role,” says Mike Cranfield, Gorilla Doctors’ Africa Director.

Mountain gorilla

(Daryl Balfour)

Our Hands-on Veterinary Care Saves Lives, Supports Population Growth

As the organization that provides all of the hands-on, life-saving veterinary care to injured and ill mountain gorillas in the Virungas and in Bwindi, Gorilla Doctors’ work is helping these magnificent animals make their comeback from the brink of extinction. In a 2011 study, researchers determined that Gorilla Doctors’ veterinary care for habituated mountain gorillas was responsible for half of the population’s growth rate. The proof: population rates for unhabituated mountain gorillas (for whom delivery of veterinary care is impossible) were declining.

Just since the start of 2018, Gorilla Doctors veterinarians have conducted 14 clinical interventions to save the lives of injured and ill mountain gorillas as well as Grauer’s gorillas. Our work to help these close cousins of the mountain gorilla is also critical, as the numbers of Grauer’s gorillas in the wild are plummeting.

Gorilla Doctor’s Role in the 2016 Census
Gorilla Doctors was proud to play an important role in the 2016 census process run by the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration and the International Gorilla Conservation Programme. The census involved survey teams systematically sweeping through the forest, following gorilla trails, counting night nests and collecting fecal samples. Our own Dr. Gaspard and Dr. Methode were critical members of the census team, spending many days in the forest helping to collect samples and processing fecal samples once back at headquarters.

Four members of a census team

Gorilla Doctors’ Dr. Gaspard (far right) with a census team

We wish you could all hear and see the celebratory cheers and smiles on the faces of Gorilla Doctors’ staff in Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo after receiving this breaking news. Gorilla Doctors aims to save a species, one gorilla at a time, and it’s working!

Cheers to our Supporters — You!
Thank you for being a crucial part of our life-saving team. Together, we are truly saving a species, one gorilla at a time.  We raise a toast to all of you who support our work: our ability to save the lives of gorillas is entirely dependent on your generosity and passion. We hope today’s fantastic news inspires you to remain part of our mission and continue to support our hard work with a gift in honor of the 1,004 mountain gorillas thriving on Earth!

View the press release issued by the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration.

A mother gorilla with two babies

(Diane Rebman)