Wednesday, October 17, 2012

More from Virunga National Park

Orphan Gorillas-Odds and Ends

LuAnne Blogs 

" Here is a little news update on the older orphan gorillas:

The electric fence repair for the Senkwekwe Center wall had a few delays, but it is now almost finished. We still need more money to pay the bill for this repair, so please don’t hesitate to help out! And many MANY thanks to all of you who have contributed so far.

Since the gorillas were taking this opportunity of a broken electric fence to have a little fun by escaping, and there have been workers inside the enclosure, the gorillas have been kept inside for several days at a time. You may be wondering why they are huddled up against the wall. It’s because gorillas don’t like rain. And why is it raining inside a building? This is why…

Ndakasi decided to destroy the roof…from the inside!  I asked Andre how she managed to make this gaping hole and he went into an elaborate description of how she grabbed the bars with a hand and foot, and used the other two to rip the roof open.  We haven’t had a chance to repair it. The caretakers moved the gorillas to another room, and Ndakasi did the same damage to that roof!

Speaking of damage, the gorillas have also managed to destroy all but one of their hammocks. This one is the last of the hammocks from the US that the Gorilla Doctors got for us. Andre says it is the strongest kind. We do need more. I’ll find out the cost and if anyone is interested in buying a hammock for the gorillas, I’m sure we can find a way to get them to Congo somehow.

Before the gorillas were confined to the cages several days ago, Andre saw Ndeze playing with something outside, swatting at it, lunging, etc. On closer inspection, he discovered it was a snake - about a meter and a half long. It has come and gone several times in the last few days, and they’ve been trying to catch it as it could kill the gorillas. Today, finally, they managed to catch it. Dr. Eddy was brave enough to grab it by the head. Our snake experts aren’t here so I can’t tell you yet what kind it is.

Here’s a better view for all you snake lovers. Anyone know?

Andre chats to the gorillas a lot, and plays with them. They love him so much. The “little” ones will not miss an opportunity to be near him.

Maisha really doesn’t like the rain. She sat against the wall with her arms wrapped around her until it stopped. You would think that big fur coat would keep her warm enough.

The rain finally stopped and Maisha stretched out, ate a carrot, but didn’t move from her wall."

I for the record am with Maisha it is raining in Auckland.

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