Orphan Kalonge Receives Treatment for Suspected Respiratory InfectionBy Gorilla Doctors Staff on Thursday, October 30th, 2014 in Blog.
Orphan Grauer’s gorilla Kalonge was rescued in early March after she was caught in a snare and brought to a local village chief by a group of young boys outside of Kahuzi Biega National Park (read about her rescue here). Through a joint rescue operation by ICCN and Gorilla Doctors, 2-year-old Kalonge was brought to the Senkwekwe Center in Rumangabo, DRC for medical treatment and rehabilitation after her ordeal. Kalonge was thin, dehydrated, coughing and had a snare wound around her left wrist when she arrived at Senkwekwe. But over the last 6 months, the youngster has made a full recovery and has been in good health. Gorilla Doctors recently received the results of her genetic analysis by the Max Planck Institute, confirming her subspecies as Grauer’s. Very soon, she will be moved to the GRACE center in Kasugho, DRC, where she will join a group of rehabilitated orphan Grauer’s gorillas and finally have a family again.
Unfortunately, Kalonge’s caretakers reported that their young charge was coughing again on October 23rd. Dr. Martin made the trek from Goma to Rumangabo to assess Kalonge’s health and administer treatment (if deemed necessary).
Here is Dr. Martin’s report:
“The caretakers reported that Kalonge had begun coughing overnight and was having some difficulty breathing. I began my assessment in the afternoon but continued to observe her well into the night to get a full observation of her health condition. Kalonge’s appetite and behavior were both normal during my observation – she was alert, responsive and active. When night fell, she began coughing and had some nasal discharge. Her breathing became more labored as well.
Later in the night, I heard a troop of wild baboons (which live in the forest near the Senkwekwe Center) coughing. It is very possible that Kalonge acquired her respiratory infection from a wild baboon as her outdoor enclosure is open and occasionally other primates will pass through the trees.
I made the decision to administer an oral antibiotic to help Kalonge overcome her respiratory illness. Her caretakers will continue to closely monitor and report her progress to Gorilla Doctors daily, but she should make a full recovery and be ready for her transport to the GRACE center in the coming weeks.”
While at the Senkwekwe Center, Dr. Martin made a visual assessment of the orphan mountain gorillas who reside there, Maisha, Ndakasi, Ndeze, and Matabishi. He reports that the little family of orphans was in good visual health and enjoying playing in their sunny outdoor enclosure during his visit.