Because gorillas and humans are so genetically similar, they are vulnerable to one another’s diseases. The gorilla tourism industry in Africa, which attracts thousands of visitors every year, puts both species in close proximity on a daily basis. Park rules state that visitors must stay 7 meters away from the gorillas at all times, but that is not always in their control. For this reason, park staff (trackers) and Gorilla Doctors veterinarians monitor the gorillas closely everyday for signs of illness or injury.

So what precautions are taken to prevent the transmission of disease? How does the One Health approach play into the works of Gorilla Doctors? Dr. Kirsten Gilardi, Co-Director of Gorilla Doctors, addresses those questions and more below.

What are the disease risks for gorillas and people in Africa?

How does Gorilla Doctors embody the One Health approach?

What are the health risks for national park workers and gorilla veterinarians?