As Dr. Jan observes the Hirwa twins, they enjoy observing her.

Dr. Jan reports on her routine health check visit with Hirwa group in Volcanoes National park, Rwanda.

Today I visited Hirwa group for a routine health check.  We found the group at 8:00 am in the area called Sanzari. The group was very calm, feeding and resting just outside the bamboo, eating thistles and galium.   It was a beautiful, clear, sunny morning.

Aheza, who has lip lesions.We first came across Ikerezi’s 7 month old infant Aheza, who is showing some of the lip lesions we frequently see on these gorillas.  These don’t really look like herpetic vesicles to me, but we can’t know for sure unless we do a biopsy.  

Icyamamare got a nice ride on his sister Agasoro.Several of the infants and juveniles were playing in the bamboo, and Icyamamare got a nice ride on his sister Agasoro when the play was finished and they came out of the bamboo for a snack.  

The Hirwa twins bouncing on Kabatwa’s back.We finally found Kabatwa and her twin babies in the thick foliage – the babies were as interested in Safari and I as we were in them!  When Kabatwa turned to face us we noted that she has a fresh wound above her left eye.  The wound looks superficial, but the tissue around the eye is swollen.  There are no other obvious wounds on here, and the babies are fine. 

Kabatwa’s wound.I wonder if she fell, or scraped her head on a branch while she was trying to manage the two growing babies.   Safari took some nursing and activity data on the babies to document their development.   Kabatwa moved to a more open area, allowing us a much better view of all 3 of them.  At one point Kabatwa took both babies from her back and placed them on her belly, looking like she wanted to rest, but the babies were not interested in resting… they played all around and on her, rolling, falling, trying out vegetation as food…  poor Kabatwa has her hands full, but is so patient and gentle with her charges.

Not interested in sleeping!

See a video of the twins:

The rest of the group were either eating or resting.  Impundu sneezed once, but it was while he was rolling in the leaves. No other signs of respiratory illness in him or the group. 

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