Snare Rescue in Bwindi Impenetrable National ParkBy Gorilla Doctors Staff on Wednesday, May 4th, 2022 in Blog.
On Wednesday April 27 Gorilla Doctors received an emergency call from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park rangers reporting that a sub-adult male mountain gorilla in Bitukura group had a wire snare around his left forearm. This is the second snare in Bwindi this year: in early January 2022 a blackback in Kahungye group was snared and successfully rescued by Dr. Ricky (READ about that rescue). Here is a detailed account of Dr. Ricky’s second successful snare removal on April 28:
Location: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda
Gorilla Group: Bitukura
Gorilla: Nyiguru, sub-adult male (6.5 years old)
Gorilla Doctor: Dr. Ricky Okwir Okello, Dr. Benard Ssebide
Intervention Assistants: Nelson Bukumba, Jalika Joyner and Dilly Muhumuza
Date: April 28, 2022
When Gorilla Doctors arrived Thursday morning they found Nyiguru and Bitukura group feeding calmly among the bamboo. The wire snare, made from old motorcycle clutch wire, was pulled tightly around Nyiguru’s left wrist and he kept biting the wire and using his right hand to try and remove the wire without success. Gorilla Doctors determined that self-removal would not be possible and began preparing for an intervention to remove the snare.
Nyiguru was darted with anesthetics at 11:15AM and was fully anesthetized within 10 minutes. The snare had broken through Nyiguru’s skin, so once the wire was removed, Dr. Ricky cleaned the wound and treated Nyiguru with antibiotics.
Dr. Ricky also performed an overall physical exam, collecting various biological samples for analysis. In partnership with collaborators at the Czech Academy of Sciences, we are investigating parasite-related disease in the mountain gorillas of Bwindi, so fecal samples were collected for analysis as part of the study. Dr. Ricky also administered anti-parasite medications to Nyiguru as a preventative measure.
Within 42 minutes of the initial darting with anesthetics, Nyiguru was awake and back with his group. The intervention team remained to observe Nyiguru’s full recovery from anesthesia before hiking out of the forest. Park trackers are keeping a close eye on Nyiguru and his gorilla family over the next several days and Gorilla Doctors will conduct a follow-up veterinary monitoring visit to check on the status of Nyiguru’s wound healing. He is expected to make a full recovery.