Baby Lowland Gorilla Rescued from Animal Traffickers


Another baby lowland “Grauer’s” gorilla has been recovered from animal traffickers near Kahuzi-Biega National Park. The baby is an 8-12 month old female that was turned over to park officials by local villagers. Sadly, the baby’s mother was killed during the abduction and the same is thought to be true of the family’s dominant silverback. This is most often the case because gorilla families will defend their young to the death.

Virunga Pilot, Anthony Caere (left), Gorilla Doctor Martin Kabuyaya (with gorilla), and Virunga National Park Director, Emmanuel de Merode (right), during flight back to the Senkwekwe Center in Rumangabo.

At the request of Kahuzi-Biega National Park, a team from Virunga National Park flew down to collect the baby and take her to Virunga’s Senkweke Center for rehabilitation. The baby, who has since been named Lulingu, is now under the care of Babo Ntakarimaze, one of the most skilled caregivers at the center. Babo has a gift for making gorillas feel safe again, which is critical to their recovery. In addition to Babo, Gorilla Doctor Martin Kabuyaya has been closely monitoring Lulingu’s health and through their combined care, she seems to be recovering remarkably well. What no one can say, though, is how she’ll will be affected in the long-term by terrible things she witnessed during her abduction.

Lulingu will spend a six-month quarantine period with Babo before being turned over to the GRACE Gorilla Rehabilitation Center for long-term care. She will join Kalonge who was recently transferred from the Senkwekwe Center to GRACE. Until then, Lulingu will receive the care and companionship of her human caregivers 24-hours a day.


The cage used by the animal traffickers to confine Lulingu


Babo and Lulingu are now inseparable. Like the other caregivers, he will see more of Lulingu than his own family during the next six months.


  1. Ingeborgh Jennen March 23, 2016 Reply

    How did she come into the hands of the villagers…? was she taken from animal traffickers by the villagers or did they recieve tips ?

    • Author
      Robert Williams March 24, 2016 Reply

      Hi Ingeborgh, as a matter of policy, we cannot discuss the specifics of these operations. Doing so could jeopardize those involved and also could hinder future efforts. Thank you for your understanding.

  2. MS March 23, 2016 Reply

    Love this little baby. god bless you all

  3. Patricia Le Foll March 23, 2016 Reply

    Bravo ! Vous êtes toutes et tous les meilleurs, par votre courage et, surtout, votre amour et le respect de toutes les créatures.

    Merci !

  4. Carey March 23, 2016 Reply

    So upset to hear of this orphan and the probable death of her parents. truly awful loss. I am sure you will give her the care she needs and do your best for her. But what a sad life in comparison to what she would have had.

  5. KELLIE SAUNDERS March 23, 2016 Reply

    Thank you for saving her. ♡

  6. Suely Epsztein Grynberg March 23, 2016 Reply

    Thank you so much. You make the world a better place to be in.

  7. Gina March 23, 2016 Reply

    Such a terrible tragedy and so glad the little orphan was rescued from that horror thank you for saving her and for all you do for us and the gorillas.

  8. Sarah-jane Peck March 23, 2016 Reply

    Firstly, thank you for saving this little darling girl. It is so sad that this is still happening. I worry what she has seen in her little life and I worry about the group now with the silverback being killed along with her mother.
    This really is an absolute tragedy and all we can do is to say thank you for saving her and for taking her on. Our hearts are with you and with this little lady x

  9. Karen Hampson March 24, 2016 Reply

    Will she be able to be released in the future?

  10. Noranne Dovey March 26, 2016 Reply

    All life is precious and should be protected as sacred.

  11. Hue March 28, 2016 Reply

    Thank you for your Great Humanity Mr Babo : you making sure the World is better and make my hearth in peace…Thank you for the little baby gorilla : she is a part of my Humanity…

  12. Shannon Kircher May 2, 2016 Reply

    Precious thing! So sad that’s she’s experienced such trauma at her young age, but amazing that she’s been saved and will be able to live a full life thanks to your team! We’ll be visiting in September and I hope we’ll get to meet Lulingo and Babo at the orphanage!

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