Gorilla Doctors veterinarians in Bwindi National Park are keeping a close eye on two gorillas from the Kyaguliro group after they suffered injuries during an altercation with an unhabituated gorilla group in the area. Rukara, the dominant silverback in the Kyagurilo group and Kabandizea, one of two blackbacks, were reported injured on July 27. Gorilla Doctors veterinarian Dr. Ricky visited the group to observe the injuries and determine any next steps.
Rukara, the silverback, suffered a forearm injury and his pinky finger was cut off near the joint. (Somewhat graphic photos below). The wounds were dry, clean and free of secondary bacterial infections. There was no pus or swelling, and there were no flies around the wound. Kabandizea, the blackback, had a wound through the joint of his left pinky finger. It appeared to be a bite wound, but like Rukara’s, it was dry, clean and showed no signs of bacterial infection during Gorilla Doctors’ inspection. “Both gorillas were active, bright, alert and responsive during the assessment,” said Dr. Ricky, who decided that it would not be immediately necessary to conduct a full clinical intervention (with anesthesia) to treat the wounds. Instead, he asked that trackers continue to monitor the injured gorillas and the group and let Gorilla Doctors know if any of them show signs of worsening injuries or new illness. “Although the wound appears to be painful, the gorillas were feeding and walking normally,” said Dr. Ricky. “Should there be sign of any infection, an intervention for treatment will be evaluated for both.”
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