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Rare gorilla dies at Mt Tshiaberimu
08 February 2008

On Friday 8 February 2008, we received some sad news from our team at Mt Tshiaberimu: Mughole a female gorilla who had been sick, died, at Kabange. Dr Joseph Mavisi, a vet from Butembo University was called and was able to conduct a post-mortem on Mughole’s body, which confirmed that she had a tape worm and internal lesions. Further analysis is due to be carried out and an international panel of experts is being consulted.

The Gorilla Organization’s ranger patrol team realised at 10:30am on Thursday 7 February that Mughole was not well as she had not left her nest as usual in the morning. The rangers immediately returned to their patrol post and informed the Gorilla Organization’s staff in the Goma, who were able to inform the vets. The next morning the team returned to Mughole’s nest to check on her condition and it was here that they found her dead body. She died with one hand on her head and one hand on her heart and it is feared that she died in a lot of pain. The team of rangers carried Mughole’s body for 5 hours back to the Burusi patrol post where the post mortem was carried out. At 18:20 that evening Mughole was laid to rest near the patrol post, buried next to her infant Mwavita who died on 12 July last year. There had been great celebrations when Mwavita was born last summer as it was a sign that the Mt Tshiaberimu population of gorillas was on the up, but tragedy struck just days after her birth when Mughole and her baby got caught between two fighting silverbacks and the baby was killed. It was a sad event for Mt Tshiaberimu but unfortunately not uncommon in gorilla populations.

Mughole was a member of the Kipura family and her death brings the number of gorillas at Mt Tshiaberimu down to 20. The Gorilla Organization has been working with the tiny population of gorillas and the local communities at Mt Tshiaberimu for over 11 years now, and since then the gorilla population had steadily grown from just 16 to 21 individuals. Emergency precautions have been put in place to ensure the health of the remaining gorilla population, the staff and the local communities in the Mt Tshiaberimu area.
for further information or photographs contact:

David Hewitt, Communications Manager
The Gorilla Organization, 110 Gloucester Avenue, London, Nw1 8HX
Tel: 020 7916 4974
Mobile: 07801 971123