Mother gorillas are fiercely protective of their babies, so when officials found a one-year-old baby gorilla in Cameroon, rescuers believe that his mother was killed for the illegal bushmeat trade, a black-market industry that kills thousands of primates every year in Africa. All too often leaving baby animals without parents.
Orphaned animals often end up being trafficked and sold as exotic pets. Once they are too big to handle, owners don’t want them anymore. Babies cannot fend for themselves in the wild.
In this baby gorilla’s case, he was saved before he could experience any more horror.
Authorities in a village in the east of the country heard what was inside of a dark wooden box. It is unclear as to just how long the baby gorilla was living in the box, but at such a young age, he certainly was scared.
“The little one had to start his life in a small cage tied to a pole,” Sandra Henoch, spokesperson for Pro Wildlife, an organization based in Germany that supports the Limbe Wildlife Center (LWC) in Cameroon said. “He is probably a victim of the illegal wildlife trade.”
When the rescuers opened up the box, they had to cut the rope that was tied tightly around his ankle.
“His mother would not have left him alone without fierce resistance, so it’s highly likely that she was killed and sold in illegal bushmeat trade,” LWC explained on Facebook. “We are grateful the orphan is doing well, despite the trauma he experienced. We give him all the time he needs to settle and surround him with lots of love and special care.”
After just a few weeks at the rescue center, the little gorilla is in better spirits.
His caretakers play with him to relieve his anxiety and teach him how to forage for food, something his mother would have taught him.
He’ll be integrated into a group of other young gorillas once he is healthy enough.
If you know someone who might like this, please click “Share!”