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The Great Apes

Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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Credits to Philip Mason - Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge.


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*This image is copyright of its original author


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‘Like night-watchmen they patrol the dark nights; marching with intent and chasing all those unwanted into the shadows…those that do not run are removed’
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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Credits to Gorilla Doctors.

Dr. Martin checked up on the Chimanuka group in Kahuzi-Biega National Park. The 17-member group appears to be strong & peaceful.

Silverback Chimanuka.

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‘Like night-watchmen they patrol the dark nights; marching with intent and chasing all those unwanted into the shadows…those that do not run are removed’
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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Credits to The Gorilla Organization.

Here's a little video of silverback Tebuka. 

It may be a bit shaky, but it shows just how powerful fully-grown gorillas can be, and how picky they can be when they are looking for some leaves to snack on....



‘Like night-watchmen they patrol the dark nights; marching with intent and chasing all those unwanted into the shadows…those that do not run are removed’
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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( This post was last modified: 02-21-2017, 09:44 PM by Tshokwane )

Credits to Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

We're very happy to announce the start of a new series, #GorillaMythMonday! Every Monday we'll explain and dispel a number of popular gorilla myths, starting right now! For today's myth, we're going to talk about chestbeating. Many people think that to chestbeat, a gorilla will make fists and pound them against their chest. Not true! Gorillas in fact chestbeat with an open palm, and the resulting sound is a very loud "pok-pok" that reverberates throughout the forest! To hear what that sounds like, check out our Learning Materials archive! http://dfgfi.org/2lsXBwV.

Silverback Isabukuru.

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Here's a little video to show you how it sounds.

The sound you hear prior to the chest beat is called hooting, it's believed the Silverback makes it to fill the chest with air and to make the sound of the chest beat more powerful.

Rival males and also females judge the size and strenght of the Silverback based on his chest beats, that can be heard through kilometers in the dense forest.



‘Like night-watchmen they patrol the dark nights; marching with intent and chasing all those unwanted into the shadows…those that do not run are removed’
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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Credits to Molly Feltner - Gorilla Doctors.


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‘Like night-watchmen they patrol the dark nights; marching with intent and chasing all those unwanted into the shadows…those that do not run are removed’
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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Routine Health Check on the Rushegura group: By Gorilla Doctors.


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On Wednesday January 18, 2017 Gorilla Doctors veterinarian Dr. Ricky Okwir and a team of rangers, guides, and support staff hiked into Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for a routine health check on the Rushegura group.  They found the gorillas resting and feeding near a hydroelectric power station in Buhoma.


The composition and dynamics of the group have changed since their last routine health check.  Adult females Businza, Kibande, and Ruterana gave birth to healthy babies; Kanywani is now a blackback; and Kalembezi is turning into a silverback.  Recent power struggles between silverback Kabukojo and Kalembezi resulted in minor injuries between the two members but otherwise the overall health status of Rushegura group is good.  Enjoy the beautiful photos taken by Dr. Ricky!

Kafuruka, a blackback in the Rushegura group

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Kibande’s infant playing in a tree

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Kabukojo, dominant silverback in the Rushegura group

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Buzinza’s infant

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Kalembezi, black back turning into a silverback in the Rushegura group

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Ruterana’s infant

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‘Like night-watchmen they patrol the dark nights; marching with intent and chasing all those unwanted into the shadows…those that do not run are removed’
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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Credits to Gorilla Doctors.

Some good news from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park: Dr. Gaspard visited the #Bikingi and #Busingye groups and reports that they are both doing well!

Silverback Busingye is a calm and peaceful leader, which is reflected in the tranquility of his group. In the Bikingi group, the infant who was treated for parasites is recovering well! Both gorilla groups were nesting within 1-2km of each other but neither group was bothered by the presence of the other.


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‘Like night-watchmen they patrol the dark nights; marching with intent and chasing all those unwanted into the shadows…those that do not run are removed’
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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Old, but very interesting documentary. First time I see it, I enjoyed it very much.



‘Like night-watchmen they patrol the dark nights; marching with intent and chasing all those unwanted into the shadows…those that do not run are removed’
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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And another one, this one a bit more recent.

It focuses more on people and their efforts in conservation, but also how a group recovered after the dominant Silverback, called Senkwekwe and some of his females, were killed in 2007. The man that's the main figure of the documentary is called Emmanuel de Merode, he's the present director of the Virunga National Park.



‘Like night-watchmen they patrol the dark nights; marching with intent and chasing all those unwanted into the shadows…those that do not run are removed’
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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Credits to Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

It's #GorillaMythMonday! 

Many people think that when gorillas vocalize, they shriek and yell like chimpanzees. But actually the complete opposite is true! Gorillas are very quiet creatures, and almost never yell or scream.When they're happy or content, they emit a very low grumbling sound. 

When they're annoyed they "pig grunt", an example of which can be seen below!

Click on it to play.



‘Like night-watchmen they patrol the dark nights; marching with intent and chasing all those unwanted into the shadows…those that do not run are removed’
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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Credits to Gorilla Doctors.

Silverbacks from the Bweza group - Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Dominant silverback Kakono

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Silverback Rurehuka, second in command.

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Newly matured silverback Tindatin, third in the group.

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‘Like night-watchmen they patrol the dark nights; marching with intent and chasing all those unwanted into the shadows…those that do not run are removed’
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United States Pckts Offline
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Burrard-Lucas Photography


A western lowland gorilla in his beautiful rainforest habitat. Odzala, Republic of Congo.


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"Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is."
-Oscar Wilde
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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Credits to Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

Today we’d like to talk about the myth that gorillas are unrestrained and violent. Thankfully nowadays most people do know that gorillas are more of a gentle giant than a savage beast, but did you know that gorillas will actually put effort into avoiding conflict? When two competing silverbacks meet, they will complete a variety of non-contact behaviors to communicate their strength and fitness to each other with the goal of remaining nonviolent. Look in the pictures below for these behaviors, including compressed lips, strut stances, and chest beating!

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‘Like night-watchmen they patrol the dark nights; marching with intent and chasing all those unwanted into the shadows…those that do not run are removed’
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Credits to Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

February 28th:

Fossey Fund staff is very concerned about elderly silverback Cantsbee, who was looking weak on Sunday and not seen today or yesterday. He had been missing for several months late last year, before re-appearing last month.We have a big search underway.

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March 2nd:

The search for elderly silverback Cantsbee continues, with big patrols in the forest each day, but nothing found yet. Two younger silverbacks in the group seemed to be distressed and looking for him, hooting while moving along the group's trail.

March 7th:

Search team of 30 (including half from Rwanda park authorities) still can’t find elderly silverback Cantsbee. His group is now split into two, though near each other, similar to last time Cantsbee disappeared.

From today:

The big daily search for elderly silverback Cantsbee has still not uncovered any evidence of him, so for now our staff has stopped this special effort. Of course everyone holds on to hope that he may come back again. Meanwhile, his group is seeing changes, as they adjust to Cantsbee’s absence. Mainly this includes subgrouping, new alliances among the other silverbacks, and even a group member leaving.

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‘Like night-watchmen they patrol the dark nights; marching with intent and chasing all those unwanted into the shadows…those that do not run are removed’
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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Credits to Gorilla Doctors.

Silverback Bukima Treated for Respiratory Infection

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Early on March 6 Dr. Eddy received a call from Virunga National Park that silverback Bukima, the leader of Rugendo group, was staying longer than usual in his night nest, and had been observed coughing and having a runny nose for the past two days.  Gorilla Doctors mobilized quickly to check on Bukima and his family members.


Dr. Martin went to the park that same morning, and after meeting with rangers and trackers for a briefing and update, he trekked into the forest to find Bukima and perform a veterinary health assessment.

The team found the group in the Kinyangurube sector of the park.  Dr. martin saw that Bukima was lethargic and still in his night nest.  He had a loud, productive cough, nasal discharge, and his abdomen was noticeably flat, most likely from not eating.  Based on these observations, Dr. Martin determined that Bukima was suffering from moderately severe respiratory illness, and was at risk of developing a complicating secondary bacterial infection.  In consultation with park staff, Dr. Martin made the decision to treat Bukima with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory, which he delivered via dart.  Bukima was apparently feeling so low that he didn’t particularly protest the darting procedure.  Right after Dr. Martin darted Bukima, a nearby forest elephant vocalized, which prompted Bukima’s family group to quickly gather around Bukima for protection – fortunately, Bukima had already received his medicine.

***

Dr. Martin visited Rugendo group the next day for follow-up observations.  he observed Bukima feeding and appearing to be more active than during previous visits.  He was still coughing but his runny nose had cleared up and he was eating.  It appears that Dr. Martin’s treatment helped Bukima turn the corner.

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Park trackers are continuing to closely monitor Bukima and the rest of Rugendo group for further respiratory illness.
‘Like night-watchmen they patrol the dark nights; marching with intent and chasing all those unwanted into the shadows…those that do not run are removed’
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