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Nature & Environment

Young gorillas seen dismantling traps

By T.K. Randall
July 19, 2012 · Comment icon 37 comments



Image Credit: CC 2.5 Kabir Bakie
The juveniles have been observed locating and disabling poacher traps after one of their own was killed.
Bush-meat hunters in Rwanda set up thousands of rope and branch snares in and around the Volcanoes National Park in an attempt to catch antelopes and other animals. While poachers have little interest in catching gorillas sometimes one will fall victim to one of the traps, adult gorillas are usually able to break free but youngsters are more at risk. To combat this, some of the juvenile gorillas have taken it upon themselves to go out and destroy all the traps they can find.

"This is absolutely the first time that we've seen juveniles doing that ... I don't know of any other reports in the world of juveniles destroying snares," said coordinator Veronica Vecellio. "We are the largest database and observer of wild gorillas ... so I would be very surprised if somebody else has seen that."[!gad]Bush-meat hunters in Rwanda set up thousands of rope and branch snares in and around the Volcanoes National Park in an attempt to catch antelopes and other animals. While poachers have little interest in catching gorillas sometimes one will fall victim to one of the traps, adult gorillas are usually able to break free but youngsters are more at risk. To combat this, some of the juvenile gorillas have taken it upon themselves to go out and destroy all the traps they can find.

"This is absolutely the first time that we've seen juveniles doing that ... I don't know of any other reports in the world of juveniles destroying snares," said coordinator Veronica Vecellio. "We are the largest database and observer of wild gorillas ... so I would be very surprised if somebody else has seen that."
Just days after a poacher's snare had killed one of their own, two young mountain gorillas worked together Tuesday to find and destroy traps in their Rwandan forest home.


Source: National Geographic | Comments (37)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #28 Posted by csspwns 11 years ago
Humans don't even look out for their own that way. And we're supposed to be the sentient, civilized ones. im civilized
Comment icon #29 Posted by R4z3rsPar4d0x 11 years ago
Thats awsome to hear that they disarmed the traps!!!
Comment icon #30 Posted by Sundew 11 years ago
How did I miss the opportunity to get an Ackbar picture on to the site? Well done mate Thanks, one does what one can, lol.
Comment icon #31 Posted by QuiteContrary 10 years ago
pretty amazing but also sad http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/07/gorillas-seen-dismantling-deadly-poacher-traps/
Comment icon #32 Posted by Sakari 10 years ago
That is great ! And as said also, sad, 790 Mountain Guerillas left, and idiot humans still trying to kill them.... We need a plague, bad.....
Comment icon #33 Posted by jules99 10 years ago
triple post
Comment icon #34 Posted by jules99 10 years ago
Darn computer ate my post....never happened before so its a 1st for me; Its sad that the gorillas have to learn to dismantle snares to survive; Its a skill also shared by chimps; "But a few chimps living in the rainforests of Guinea have learnt to recognise these snare traps laid by human hunters, researchers have found. More astonishing, the chimps actively seek out and intentionally deactivate the traps, setting them off without being harmed." http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8962000/8962747.stm
Comment icon #35 Posted by jules99 10 years ago
Deleted double post
Comment icon #36 Posted by Wickian 10 years ago
Well, I'm impressed.
Comment icon #37 Posted by Hilander 10 years ago
Good for the Gorillas. With so few left they need to set traps for the poachers so they can become an endangered species. I think anyone caught poaching an endangered species should get life in prison with no possiblity of parole because they are such a danger to the planet.


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