Busy Boy Bonane – A Newborn Grauer’s GorillaBy Gorilla Doctors Staff on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023 in Blog.
We are thrilled to announce a newborn Grauer’s gorilla in Bonane group at Kahuzi-Biega National Park, DR Congo. On Monday, Dr. Lina conducted a routine health check of the group and was delighted to see adult female Mukono holding her newborn (2-3 days old).
Silverback Bonane has been busy!
This is the second infant born in this group in the past six months (adult female Siri gave birth in October 2022). There are now four infants in the group, including a set of twins from adult female Nyabadeux.
Did you know that Grauer’s gorilla groups only ever have one silverback (all but guaranteeing Bonane as the sire), whereas mountain gorilla groups can have multiple silverbacks (making paternity of newborns impossible to confirm without genetic testing).
Mukono’s Missing Eye
As clearly seen in the upper photo, Mukono is missing her right eye. She is also missing her right hand (not visible in upper photo). Dr. Eddy believes this is the result of a snare injury from when she was young (prior to when Gorilla Doctors started monitoring the health of habituated Grauer’s gorillas in Kahuzi-Biega National Park in 2006). Snares are still a significant health threat to eastern gorillas. Thanks to the park rangers who monitor the gorillas daily, we are able to provide immediate removal and treatment of snares when they occur. Watch this great two-minute video narrated by Drs. Lina and Eddy in the forest with Bonane group (from September 2022) –
Keep the Babies Coming
Grauer’s or eastern lowland gorillas are critically endangered. They are found only in eastern DR Congo and their total population numbers have declined 77% or more over the past two decades1. An updated survey published in 2021 estimated that Grauer’s gorillas in Kahuzi-Biega National Park have declined by 80% since the 1990s2. As threats continue to increase pressure on the survival of Grauer’s gorillas, every single birth in the wild is to be celebrated. Welcome to the world little one!
1Plumptre, Andrew J., et al. “Catastrophic decline of world’s largest primate: 80% loss of Grauer’s Gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri) population justifies critically endangered status.” PloS one 11.10 (2016): e0162697.
2Plumptre, Andrew J., et al. “Changes in Grauer’s gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri) and other primate populations in the Kahuzi‐Biega National Park and Oku Community Reserve, the heart of Grauer’s gorilla global range.” American Journal of Primatology 83.7 (2021): e23288.