Gorillas Fight Back

Two young gorillas have been found to be dismantling poacher’s snares in their forest home. These actions come just after a snare killed another young gorilla in the area.

It has been noted as the first time that juveniles have been seen doing this. The observation was made at Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s Karioske Research Centre. As they are the largest database and observer of wild gorillas they feel it would be surprising if somebody else had observed the behaviour.

In Rwanda’s Volcanoes National park, where mountain gorillas live, thousands of rope-and-branch snares are set by bush-meat hunters. Apes are sometimes caught in these traps that are intended for antelopes. When caught adults usually free themselves but youngsters don’t usually have the same luck.

Each day the area around the Karioske centre is searched to see if any snares have been set. This helps to protect mountain gorillas which the IUCN (International Fund for Nature) says “face a very high risk of extinction in the wild.”

On Tuesday as a worker went to take apart a trap he was warned off by a silverback. Two juveniles then went to the trap and took it apart. They spotted another trap nearby and were joined by a third gorilla to tear that one apart.

It has been said that the gorillas were confident in tearing the traps apart. it is believed the that the juveniles may have learnt that the traps are dangerous from when the silverbacks became caught in them.

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