Gorilla Youngsters Seen Dismantling Poachers' Traps—A First
"Very confident" four-year-olds outsmart hunters and protect their clan.
"This is absolutely the first time that we've seen juveniles doing that ... I don't know of any other reports in the world of juveniles destroying snares," said Veronica Vecellio, gorilla program coordinator at the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund's Karisoke Research Center, located in the reserve where the event took place.
"We are the largest database and observer of wild gorillas ... so I would be very surprised if somebody else has seen that," Vecellio added.
(Also see "Dian Fossey's Gorillas Exhumed for Investigation.")
Bush-meat hunters set thousands of rope-and-branch snares in Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park, where the mountain gorillas live. The traps are intended for antelope and other species but sometimes capture the apes.
Adults are generally strong enough