This blog was written by Dr. Jan.

On Wednesday I received a call from Elisabeth that Kwitonda had sustained a laceration to his side during a fight involving Akarevuro and Kigoma, the other two silverbacks in the group.  Yesterday we found the night nests just inside the wall.  We tracked them inside the park for about 40 minutes only to find them finally outside the park.

Kwitonda outside the park.

All group members were outside the wall, most eating the juicy pulp of the planted eucalyptus trees.  This is quite a source of human/gorilla conflict, and there were many villagers lined up on the ridge watching the gorillas.

Kwitonda’s wound.

Kwitonda has a 10 cm deep laceration on his left side that is through the thick dermis and into muscle.  There are some superficial wounds around this laceration, and on his left wrist.  He was moving quite well though, eating well and had a very full belly, so we’ll wait and watch for signs of infection.   Akarevuro had some superficial wounds on his back and left arm, and Kigoma also had a very superficial wound on his left arm.   Today the group was peaceful, although Kwitonda did cough at Akarevuro several times when they were in close proximity.

Okapi and her baby.

We were also fortunate to see Okapi and her new 3 week old baby – this is her first (she is only 8 years old!) and she was a very attentive mom while we were watching.  The baby was strong and holding on well. 

Nyamurema, the mother of Umoja, walked by while we were watching Kwitonda, with her Igihembo, her 2 year old son on her back.  She is not the least bit hindered by the loss of her right foot to a snare years ago, or the corneal opacity in her left eye.  She is quite strong, and a good mom.

We watched a funny scene with Mbilimbili and her 2 kids, Karibu and her year old son.  The baby wanted to play with Karibu, but she was not interested. She climbed into the tree above Mbilimbili and her brother, and when they least expected it she defecated right on them!  Mbilimbili was not happy with the situation!

Kwitonda sitting in a field as farmers watch him from a ridge.

I left the group as tourists approached.  Most of the group was pretty near the wall, except Marambo, a blackback, who was still quite far away in the field. 

Adventuring far afield.

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