Gorillas uses guerilla tactics against poachers

Gorilla Youngsters Seen Dismantling Poachers’ Traps—A First

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, according to conservationists on the scene.

“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 Veronica Vecellio, gorilla program coordinator at the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s Karisoke Research Center, located in the reserve where the event took place.

On Tuesday tracker John Ndayambaje spotted a trap very close to the Kuryama gorilla clan. He moved in to deactivate the snare, but a silverback named Vubu grunted, cautioning Ndayambaje to stay away, Vicellio said.

Suddenly two juveniles—Rwema, a male; and Dukore, a female; both about four years old—ran toward the trap.

As Ndayambaje and a few tourists watched, Rwema jumped on the bent tree branch and broke it, while Dukore freed the noose.

The pair then spied another snare nearby—one the tracker himself had missed—and raced for it. Joined by a third gorilla, a teenager named Tetero, Rwema and Dukore destroyed that trap as well.

Tip: Unexplained Mysteries

This is astounding. Not only have they comprehended the harm and dismantled the trap, they warned the human?!

I have underestimated the reasoning capacity for apes in the wild.

The article also notes that these traps are not set for gorillas but for other animals. The gorillas who do get caught in them are left to die.


  3 comments for “Gorillas uses guerilla tactics against poachers

  1. oldebabe
    July 21, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    Anecdotal, but… with pics? What a story. If factual, maybe it’s just taking much longer for other apes to develop a more sophisticated level of intelligence. Given the necessary thousands of years, and if the earth lasts, other ape species may equal or surpass the current smarties…

  2. July 21, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    I can’t stop thinking about this story. Bands of simian bomb squads roaming the countryside. It’s awful and beautiful at the same time.

  3. July 25, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    As entertaining as this is, and I hope such a thing is happening, I’ll need to get more information on this before I can accept this.

Comments are closed.