This blog was written by Dr. Jan.

We started hearing rumors about another baby gorilla in Walikali, DR Congo in November.  We hear rumors of baby gorillas with some regularity, and they are always followed up.  Unfortunately the most common outcome is that we never see the animal – either the baby has died, or perhaps there never was a baby at all. Somebody just wants money so the rumor circulates. 

Kyasa after arriving from Goma.

This time though, we received visual confirmation that a baby gorilla existed, and his captors were asking $20,000 for him.  Our partners DFGFI and UGADEC, with the permission of the Congolese government, negotiated hard with these people, and finally on December 27, little Kyasa was confiscated.  He was flown to Goma on the 30th where Dr. Eddy met him and his caregiver.  Kyasa was frightened, but at 6 months old, seemed to be much more trusting of his caregivers than Ndjingala, who was a year old when she was taken from her family and more cognizant of the trauma she had experienced.

 Kyasa with a caretaker.

Dr. Magda and Dr. Eddy did a quick examination the next day, and found Kyasa to be in amazingly good healthy.  He had some serious wounds on his sides where the “leash” was tight around his middle, and had internal parasites, but these problems can be resolved with medication and TLC. 

The wound around Kyasa.

Kyasa settled into his temporary home in Goma with 2 loving caregivers for his quarantine period of 30 days.  He passed his quarantine examination with flying colors – TB negative, vaccinated against rabies and tetanus, blood work normal!  And he is a little sweetie pie.

 Dr. Eddy and Dr. Jacques perform a health check on Kyasa

Now he has moved to GRACE where he will spend another 30 days in quarantine just to be sure he does not transfer any disease to the other Grauer’s gorillas there – Mapendo, Amani, Kighoma and Ndjingala.  He will be introduced to them slowly after his quarantine, joining their small family in the forest of Kasuo.  We also hope that the Grauer’s gorillas in Kinigi will join the GRACE family in the coming months.  Stay tuned!