This is Jean Claude
2010 was a difficult year for the MtT project as we worked hard to protect the small
remaining group of gorillas living in Tshiaberimu. Six months were troubled by
rebels but thankfully all the staff here at the project stayed safe.
Our thanks to our colleagues at the Congolese Wildlife Authority, the GO executive team and to the Tshiaberimu blog friends who continue to support the project. Many thanks also to the local communities and chiefs who work with us and contribute to the success of the project.
Two woman are now in training in India to support the gorillas further, you can read more about this on the gorilla blog!
Despite the insecurity the gorillas have been healthy throughout 2010. Just before Christmas there was a battle between two silverbacks and Tsongo suffered some wounds to his face but he is fine!- here are some photos of him after the fight.
Here is a photo of me with some of the team and Emilie who visited our community activities whilst working for the EU projects in the region – thank you so much for coming to see us!
This is Jean Claude and Mavisi
The health centres around the Mt Tshiaberimu gorilla habitat work extremely hard to provide effective medical care for the human population in this area. This is not only keeping the local population healthy but is also helping to keep disease out of the neighbouring forest and therefore away from the gorillas. Unfortunately however, domestic animals are hampering the fight against disease as their health is mostly ignored.
The Gorilla Organization is working with Conservation through Public Health (CTPH) to educate the local communities about the importance of keeping their domestic animals free of disease and an immunisation programme has begun.
– 46 dogs have been vaccinated against rabies in the communities of Kitolu, Burusi, Ngitse, Kaliro and Bumekeke
– 67 goats and sheep have been vaccinated against scabies in Kaliro and Burusi
From all of us at Mt Tshiaberimu we would like to say thank you for all the good will that has been shown to us and for the vaccines and antibiotics that have been provided to care for the animals in the region. However, some skin diseases occur in cattle throughout the area that we are currently unable to treat. We desperately need financial resources to investigate the disease and prevent it from spreading inside the gorilla habitat.
Thank you for listening and we will post on the blog again soon.
Hello, this is Tuver.
I have just returned from a visit to Mount Tshiabirimu and have some news from the rangers about one of my favourite gorillas Mukokya – a lively young black back male.
You may remember reading on the blog about Mukokya’s sad year last year….. In February his elderly father Nzanzu, with whom he spent all his time, passed away. For a while he travelled alone, but he soon found friendship with the silverback Kanindo. This new pair spent a number of months supporting each other but in July the rangers at MT T were devastated to report the death of Kanindo and Mukokya was again alone.
But since 25 February 2010, the rangers at Mt T have been thrilled to see Mukokya has joined two other gorillas and become part of the Katsavara family. The family is led by the silverback Katsavara and is also home to adult female Mwengesyali – Mukokya’s mother!
Odilon Kataomba, the Gorilla Organization’s head of research at Mount Tshiaberimu is encouraged by the strengthening of this gorilla family – ‘it bodes well for the future’ he tells me.
With so few gorillas remaining at Mt Tshiaberimu their long term survival hangs in the balance, but the changing dynamics of the gorilla groups and the strengthening of their families gives us all hope.
Hi.this is Odilon
One of the first workers at Mount Tshiaberimu has died after falling down a ditch when walking home with his wife.
Kasereka Nzwende, known as Solitaire, died on the way back from attending mass on the night of Sunday 14 February.
He was one of the first local people to monitor the gorillas at Mount T, and he had been particularly fond of silverback gorilla Kanindo, who sadly died last year.
Jean Claude Kyungu, Project Manager at Mount Tshiaberimu, said it was very sad to lose Solitaire, who he knew as Papa because of his old age and wisdom.
Jillian Miller, Executive Director of the Gorilla Organization, said “I am very sorry to hear about Solitaire’s death. He gave a lot to the gorillas, and the sorrow about his death is very deep. I send my deepest condolences to his family.”
Solitaire leaves two wives and several children.
He was buried at Kisone with an intimate family funeral.