Employee Profile: Get to Know Dr. Fred NizeyimanaBy Gorilla Doctors Staff on Thursday, September 16th, 2010 in Uncategorized.
By Molly Feltner, MGVP Communications Officer
Dr. Fred Nizeyimana joined the Gorilla Doctors this year as our Uganda In-Country Field Veterinarian and has been dedicated to monitoring the health of Uganda’s mountain gorilla ever since. Born in Kisoro, Uganda, Fred grew up in the shadow of the Virunga volcanoes of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. As a young man, he studied veterinary medicine at Makerere University in Kampala, where he had the opportunity to work on a gorilla research project sponsored by MGVP.
After graduating in 2005, Fred worked as the Acting Project Manager for the Kibale Eco-health Project in Kibale National Park. In 2007 ,he volunteered at the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary and was later promoted to the role of Sanctuary Manager and Veterinarian.
MGVP was lucky to hire him this past March. “I was warmly welcomed by everyone at MGVP,” says Fred. “MGVP treats us all as a family.”
As a Gorilla Doctor, Fred visits each habituated gorilla group—there are 8 groups in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and one in Mgahinga National Park—at least once per month for regular health checks. When a health problem is reported within a particular group, he visits more often to check on the sick or injured individual progress. In the case of life-threatening illness or human-induced trauma, Dr. Fred intervenes to help. Earlier this month Drs. Fred, Jan, and Noel freed an infant gorilla caught in a poacher’s snare and treated the baby for his wounds.
“Health monitoring and performing interventions are my favorite tasks,” says Dr. Fred. “I love doing hands on work with the gorillas and using my full mental faculties to understand what the gorillas need.”