Dr. Mike examines slides on the Coolscope.Our friends at Gear4Gorillas have once again made a generous contribution of £5,000 to help Gorilla Doctors purchase vital equipment—this time a Nikon Coolscope. We’d also like to thank Bruce Mentzer, who made an additional donation, and Nikon, which sold the device to us at a substantial discount. This seriously cool digital microscope will allow our veterinarians in Africa and pathologists in the U.S. to simultaneously view slides of tissue and fluids samples taken from gorillas.

The Gorilla Doctors collect samples from gorillas during interventions and post mortem exams in order to diagnose health problems and document health trends for ongoing and future research projects. As there are no primate pathologists in Rwanda, all the samples we collect must be sent overseas, to Dr. Linda Lowenstine at UC Davis, for analysis. Because shipping samples from gorillas to the U.S. requires special permits that take time to obtain, it can be months before we are able to get pathological results. 

However, with the new Coolscope, our veterinarians in Africa can now review tissue slides prepared in Rwanda with Dr. Linda in California over the Internet. As an expert in primate disease, she confirm evidence of specific diseases in the tissues. This will help us more rapidly determine the cause of a disease outbreak in the gorillas, allowing the Gorilla Doctors to quickly and effectively respond to an outbreak.

Thanks again Gear4Gorillas, Bruce, and Nikon!

You can follow the Gorilla Doctors health monitoring efforts on our Facebook page, where we post photos and notes from our monthly visits.

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