The Gorilla Doctors
For 25 years, veterinarians have helped the rare mountain gorilla survive by providing life-saving veterinary care. These veterinarians treat serious injuries and illnesses, including those caused by people.
The project began with a single veterinarian and is now an independent, non-profit organisation that employs more than a dozen veterinarians and health experts in all three countries where mountain gorillas live. Their patients include DR Congo’s Grauer’s gorillas (eastern lowland gorillas), as well as the mountain gorillas of Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.
The Gorilla Doctors believe in a team oriented approach to gorilla medicine. They track ailing gorillas and observe and treat them, if necessary, in their native habitat. Project staff also administer employee health programmes for park rangers and guides, conduct clinical research, help screen domestic animals living near the parks for disease, and treat other wildlife.
Without the Gorilla Doctors, mountain gorillas might not exist today. Sadly, both mountain gorillas and Grauer’s gorillas face ongoing threats, including war, poaching, habitat destruction, and human disease. Neither sub-species has a captive population in sanctuaries or zoos. Their future rests entirely in the protection and restoration of their ecosystem.
‘Saving a Species One Gorilla at a Time’
If you would like to learn more about the work of the Gorilla Doctors please go to their website at www.gorilladoctors.org.