Gorilla Doctors’s rapid rescue of a juvenile gorilla caught in a snare in BwindiBy Gorilla Doctors Staff on Friday, October 19th, 2018 in Blog.
On Monday this week, Dr. Fred received an urgent call from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park that just after a tourist group finished their visit with the Mucunguzi group, an un-named juvenile female mountain gorilla got caught in a wire snare attached to a tree. Trackers said that the young gorilla was hanging from the tree and crying loudly. They quickly cut the tree so that she was no longer hanging from it; meanwhile, Dr. Fred mobilized rapidly to head into the park to take care of this emergency situation.
Upon arrival at the group in heavy rain, Dr. Fred saw that all the gorillas were hunkered down in the thick vegetation, and he saw that the snare, still attached to the branch it was originally set on, was wrapped around the juvenile’s wrist. She was crying out constantly, struggling unsuccessfully to take the snare off herself. He judged her to be about five years old, and in very good body condition and otherwise good health.
Dr. Fred prepared a syringe with anesthetic drugs and darted her at 3:00 pm. Within a few minutes she was completely anesthetized, and Dr. Fred moved quickly to cut the wire snare: he was relieved to see that it hadn’t yet cut into the young gorilla’s arm causing serious injury. He conducted a thorough physical examination and collected specimens (bloods, swabs) for conducting further health assessments and future research. He then injected her with drugs that reversed the effects of her anesthesia, and watched her wake up and join her family again by 4:20 pm.
This intervention on behalf of this young mountain gorilla was a fantastic example of how close observation and instant reporting by our Bwindi Impenetrable National Park partners, and Gorilla Doctors’ rapid mobilization to quickly and successfully anesthetize this young gorilla to remove her snare, not only prevented her from grievous injury and pain, but likely also saved her life.
Thank you Dr. Fred for your great work! And thanks to our supporters, whose generosity helps make possible our critical work… saving a species, one gorilla at a time.