Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage in the DR Congo
Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage center refers to a facility that was founded to take care of orphaned gorillas from Goma along with those that were almost trafficked/ poached. The Center is located in Rumangabo near the headquarters of the park and was named after a dominant silver back called Rugendo who was assassinated in 2007 with three members.
It is the only feature worldwide that cares and protects orphaned gorillas with four family groups that were rescued from being killed and trafficked and these include Maisha, Ndeze, Ndakasi and Matabishi. Maisha and Koboko were the first to be transferred from Rwanda in a candid facility to the center were they connected with others. These live together in peace within their habitat despite the fact that Koboko died during the latest dispute because of stress caused by the noise from the gun fires which led to the crumpling of his impervious system.
Gorillas that are orphaned are also restored after being retained from poachers/traffickers. The center’s existence is due to the provision of support and financial help from various organizations and individuals whose prior role is to ensure these Gorillas are safe and protected from all kinds of threats.
Gorillas at Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage
Maisha was born in 2001 in Virunga National Park Congo and this was during the period of conflict in Congo when the rebels used the park as a hiding place. In December 2004, Maisha who was three years old was poached by the hunters from the park and transferred to a cave in Rwanda where she was kept captive in a sack for fourteen days feeding on corn and canes alone for a very long time period.
When news spread about this incident, the police and rangers decided to start looking for her and on 18 December, they found Maisha and acquired her from the poachers. She was taken to the gorilla Doctors who ensured she would be in good state through feeding her with milk and interacting with her slowly which brought her peace hence gaining more weight since she grew to be fanatical with food since she is always protesting the finest dishes when it is time to eat.
In 2006, Maisha and some other gorillas were seized in Congo and transferred to the quarantine feature restored by Gorilla Doctors in Kinigi, Rwanda. After some years had passed, Maisha who was always around her care takers was added to other fresh orphan gorillas including Pinga who was also an adult female like Maisha. Pinga was very assertive and wanted to be the leader where as Maisha was very peaceful and poised except when it was time for meals.
In 2010 when the establishment of the Senkwekwe Orphanage was done, Maisha and Koboko had to be returned back to Congo to stay with other gorillas in their forested habitat like Ndeze,Ndakasi. On arrival, these were fascinated after spotting the green thick forested forest and Maisha climbed the tallest tree where he sat and looked down at Ndeze and Ndakasi.
Ndeze Gorilla was a juvenile gorilla that was born by Silver back Senkwekwe and Safari an adult female who were assassinated by rebel soldiers during the increased conflicts in Congo .Ndeze was orphaned into the Rugendo Gorilla family group staying in Virunga National Park on 17 Febraury 2007 though about five members of the family were murdered on 22 July by criminals that illegally burn and sell charcoal.
After the assassination, Mukunda a black back saved Ndeze who was clinging onto her dead mother Safari to safety. Gorilla Doctors intervened and took measures onto attaining Ndeze from Mukunda who was a male and could not breast feed Ndeze who was very young by then. She was provided shelter briefly and stayed here with Ndakasi under maximum care though, despite the shocking experience she had been through, Ndeze was very simple and got well faster. They easily picked up with Ndakasi through playing and doing things together and in December 2009, they were transferred back to Virunga National Park at the Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage Center near the park headquarters. On reaching here,these embraced their new home by playing with in the forest vegetation watching Maisha and Koboko who were already living here.
Ndakasi Gorilla was a juvenile gorilla whose mother was Nyiransekuye an adult female of the Kabirizi family on 17/April/2007 and her name was from the adored park ranger called Benjamin Ndakasi Lola who had died a year ago.After the conflicts that arose when Ndakasi was only two years old,she was left an orphan since her mother Nyiransekuye had been killed during the attacks.
She was found by rangers while clinging onto her mother’s breast who had died and at the time and was too dehydrated almost closing to her death which made the rangers opt for milk so as to feed her very fast so that she survives who later on took her to the housing facility found at Goma for examination by the Gorilla Doctors. After sometime,she started drinking the milk in the bottle though after fourteen days, she attained pneumonia which made her very limp and couldnot take her milk anymore which made the doctors give her anti biotics along with intravenous fluid treatment which helped her there by making her strong and healthy again.
Matabishi Gorilla was found isolated outside Virunga National park in the east of Democratic Republic of Congo in a corn field in late June 2013.He was moving around for days by himself in about a kilometer out of the forest where he was spotted by a person who reported his presence to the wildlife authorities that he had seen a wounded Gorilla roaming outside the park. Matabishi was a victim of poaching and trafficking though was retained and put to safety on Sunday 23 June.
He accepted to be given a light sedative by Dr Eddy so as to ease his transfer to the town of Rumangabo which Matabishi took comfortably. He was habituated so as to interact with humans freely which made him socialize with them with flexibility.On arrival to the Gorilla center the Gorilla Doctors made a variety of checkups and examinations to ensure he was very fine and healthy. He embraced his new environment and played around very comfortably within the trees and the vegetation around.