Mountain Gorillas vs. Poachers
Nat Geo reports that mountain gorilla youngsters have been seen dismantling and destroying poachers’ snares:
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, Vecellio 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.
That’s an amazing insight into gorilla intelligence and awareness, and it makes it all the more horrific and tragic that wild gorillas are being driven by humans toward extinction. The gorillas apparently are doing what they can to preserve their young from poachers. But they will need a lot more help to have any hope of surviving.