Two Gorillas Destroy Poachers’ Traps in Rwanda

In Rwanda, two young gorillas teamed up to take down several traps in their area of forest.


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In Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, two teenage mountain gorillas made short work of disassembling hunters’ traps set for antelope and other species. National Geographic reports that John Ndayambaje, a tracker who was sent into the forest to dismantle the traps, watched in amazement as 4-year-old Rwema and Dukore quickly worked together to remove the ropes from the branches. Upon spotting another trap, the pair, joined by a third teenager named Tetero, took it down in an effort to protect their clan. Although the poachers have no interest in capturing gorillas, they often leave the animals ensnared in the rope-and-tree branch traps, even though mountain gorillas are an endangered species. Veterinarian Mike Cranfield, executive director of the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, expressed no surprise at the gorillas’ efforts, theorizing that they may have learned how to remove the traps by studying the trackers.