An Update from our Executive Director

This week I am in Rwanda and our Africa-based Gorilla Doctors team gathered at our regional headquarters in Musanze, for regional rounds. We are an international team, working in all three range countries of the eastern gorilla – Rwanda, Uganda, and Democratic Republic of Congo – and in the USA.

Regional rounds are a chance for our country teams to review gorilla cases and to visit in person with warm smiles and hugs (see video), certainly a welcome change of pace from the incredibly hard and high-pressure work our field staff do most days.

My typical work with our team is carried out over mobile phone, WhatsAppTM, or ZoomTM!  I feel so grateful when I can be there in person.

Of course, regional rounds are also a chance for us to remind ourselves that, even though we work across international borders, we are a single team of Gorilla Doctors. We work together to provide life-saving veterinary medicine to our gorilla patients, conduct critical gorilla health research, advance wildlife and public health, and promote One Health perspectives and practices.

This week, we pooled our collective knowledge and experience in gorilla veterinary medicine to:

1) Discuss recent clinical cases and disease outbreaks,

2) review diagnostic testing results we are now rapidly generating at the Gorilla Doctors Michael Cranfield Regional One Health Laboratory and,

3) share information on various national and regional-level conservation meetings convened by our partners, for which Gorilla Doctors’ input on gorilla health were important contributions to discussions around great ape tourism and health management.

Between our work-related discussions, we caught-up on family news over tea breaks and debated and laughed together over delicious meals provided by the Hotel Muhabura. It was such a privilege for me to be able to join our Gorilla Doctors regional rounds this week – the camaraderie and energy will carry me through the next several months of daily WhatsAppTM messages and ZoomTM meetings!

Regional rounds team photo, Gorilla Doctors HQ – Musanze, Rwanda, April 2024