The gorilla doctors began as the understanding of a dream of American gorilla researcher Dian Fossey. Fossey dedicated her life to studying and protecting mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s volcanoes national park. The gorilla doctors are the dedicated veterinarians for four critically endangered mountain gorilla orphans; Ndakasi, Ndeze, Matabishi and yalala. You can directly support their vital on-going medical care by becoming their gorilla orphan guardian.
Quality care for the orphan gorillas is an expensive and time consuming attempt for the gorilla doctors. Each year, it costs an average of $480 for baby formula for each infant gorilla, $1200 for the food of the adult gorilla, $5,400 for each gorilla caretaker, and $12,000 annually to maintain the gorilla care facility. Those choosing to be guardian for the orphans help the gorilla doctors offset the expenses.
Gorilla doctors operate in all the three countries where the mountain gorilla are found, these include; Rwanda, Uganda and DRC. While Grauer’s gorillas are only found in DRC, mountain gorillas live in two protected area in the region.
The veterinarians monitor each and every habituated gorilla in the parks on a regular basis. The Congolese veterinarians monitor the health of the habituated grauer’s gorillas living in Kahuzi Biega national Park and in the Mt. Tshiabirimu area of the Virunga National Park in DRC. The gorilla doctors conserve eastern gorillas through life saving veterinary care and a one health approach in Rwanda, Uganda and the DRC. These are dedicated to saving the mountain and eastern lowland gorilla species, one gorilla patient at a time. These form teams in three countries and provide emergency care to gravely injured and ill gorillas and to infant gorilla rescued from poachers. These closely monitor gorillas for signs of injury or illness, undertake gorilla health research to direct management and conservation efforts and conduct surveillance in other wildlife populations for diseases that could threaten gorillas.
Due to the transmission of human diseases to the gorillas, gorilla doctors have run a preventive medicine program for the staff and who serve as trackers, guides and their families. This one health approach has protected the gorillas and ensures that the people who come close in to contact with the gorillas are as healthy as possible.
The gorilla doctor’s support advanced training for African veterinarians who seek careers in wildlife and conservation, thus investing in the next generation of wildlife veterinarians. These are known as mountain gorilla veterinary project, Inc. And works in partner with Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Centre at the University of California Davis’s School of Veterinary Medicine.