Wild

Young gorillas seen taking apart traps set by poachers after one of their buddies is killed

February 10th, 2020

If you know anything at all about primates, specifically gorillas, you’d know that they are extremely intelligent creatures that are capable of experiencing deep and complex emotions.

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Flickr Source: Flickr

And yet, despite this, there are people out there who want to kill them. Sometimes for their fur, sometimes for their teeth, sometimes to be used in traditional medicine, but mostly for their meat.

And to trap and kill these animals, poachers use terrible and torturous tactics to do so – like using snare traps. These traps ensnare the animals with a rope, leaving them to essentially starve or exhaust themselves until they’re dead.

Some gorillas, however, have caught onto the poachers’ tactics and have started to fight back – such as a report back in 2012.

Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s Karisoke Research Center had a ranger that observed something they had never seen before. Two juvenile mountain gorillas were seen banding together and working to locate and dismantle hidden snare traps set up by poachers.

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Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund Source: Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund

“This is absolutely the first time that we’ve seen juveniles doing that … I don’t know of any other reports in the world of juveniles destroying snares,” reported Veronica Vecellio, who worked as a gorilla program coordinator at the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s Karisoke Research Center. The research center is located near Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

“We are the largest database and observer of wild gorillas …so I would be very surprised if somebody else has seen that,” Vecellio also added.

The report says that this behavior was spotted just one day after another young gorilla had been killed by a snare trap.

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Flickr Source: Flickr

While adult gorillas are normally able to free themselves from these types of traps (which are also meant for antelope), it’s the babies and younger gorillas that tragically fall victim to them.

Sadly, just one week before these two gorillas were spotted performing their life-saving actions, an infant gorilla named Ngwino was found by workers from Karisoke. Unfortunately, they were too late to save the baby animals and she had succumbed to wounds from the trap.

Conservationists said that, in an attempt to free herself from the trap, she had dislocated her shoulder and she developed gangrene from the wounds caused by the strong rope that cut into her skin.

What’s even worse is that when these traps are set for other animals, like antelope, if a large gorilla becomes trapped, they’ll just leave them to suffer and die.

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Flickr Source: Flickr

“Tracker John Ndayambaje spotted a snare near one of the gorilla clans but was cautioned by a silverback named Vubu who grunted a warning. Then, the tracker witnessed something unexpected as two young gorillas, Rwema, a male; and Dukore, a female, both about four years old, sprung towards the trap. Rwema jumped on the bent tree branch and broke it, and Dukore soon followed to free the noose. The pair of heroes, joined by a third teenager ape, Tetero, were quick to find another snare which they immediately broke apart just as they did the first one,” explained Bored Panda.

The actions of these two gorillas are truly astonishing and touching, however, it’s something that these majestic creatures should never have to learn or deal with in the first place.

If you’re interested in helping conservationists save these beautiful animals, please visit their website and make a donation.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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Wikimedia Source: Wikimedia

H/T: Bored Panda Source: Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund

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