Orphaned Gorillas Sent to Isolated Island

Six gorilla orphans of a critically endangered species have been released on an isolated African island. Conservationists hope to move the gorillas into the wider wilderness within three years.

Six orphan gorillas in Gabon were recently set free on a lagoon island near Loango National Park. Its part of a reintroduction program by the Fernan-Vaz Gorilla Project, a non-profit organization that re-habilitates orphaned Western Lowland gorillas.

Veterinarian Nick Bachand and the gorillas caretakers anesthetize the gorillas for their boat ride.

The gorillas are juveniles, aged two to seven years, rescued from illegal trade.

When they reach the island, the gorillas get a full checkup before their release.

By the next morning, the drugs have worn off, and the gorillas begin exploring their new island home.

Western lowland gorillas are threatened by extinction. Habitat destruction and illegal poaching continues to threaten these critically endangered creatures- as does the Ebola virus.

Poachers kill adult gorillas for the bush meat trade-taking their newly orphaned babies to be sold as pets.

These three females and three males have already undergone extensive daily forest rehabilitation accompanied by their keepers, who will continue monitoring them from a base camp on the island.

The Fernan-Vaz Gorilla Project hopes to return these six gorillas from the island to Gabons wild forests within two to three years.


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