Juvenile Itorero in Musilikale group in Rwanda.

Juvenile Itorero in Musilikale group in Rwanda.

Itorero, a juvenile gorilla in Volcanoes National Park’s Musilikale group, was freed from a poacher’s snare in a veterinary intervention by Gorilla Doctors, with support from Fossey Fund Karisoke trackers on November 20th. Trackers reported the young gorilla was seen with a rope snare wrapped around his right wrist on the afternoon of the 19th. Drs Noel, Gaspard, and Methode, with Gorilla Doctors Director Dr. Mike Cranfield, packed the intervention kits and prepared to trek to the group to free the young gorilla and administer treatment. Here is Dr. Noel’s report:gorilla-dec

“After several hours of trekking, the intervention team reached Musilikale group around 11am. The group was ranging in the Rutaka area of the park. Itoero was very distressed and sticking close to the dominant silverback. His right hand was swollen and he was not using it to feed or travel. Drs. Gaspard, Methode, Mike and I prepared the anesthesia dart and successfully darted the juvenile. However, silverback Musilikale became aggressive and Itorero quickly ran into thick vegetation, so we could not monitor the effect of the anesthetics. After some time, we were able to locate the young juvenile and he was fully sedated in abdominal recumbence, so we moved in to complete the intervention.


We conducted a physical exam while Itorero was under anesthesia and found him to be in good condition. His stomach was full, his heart rate and breathing were normal. Fortunately, the snare had not cut into the wrist, so there was no wound, though the circulation was cut off. We collected blood samples and swabs for testing and administered the anesthesia reversal and backed away. Silverback Musilikale moved in and carried the young gorilla off with the group.”