Mikeno Lodge “Who done it?”

A few days ago, the Mikeno Lodge staff discovered one of the luxury bungalows had been ransacked. The main door handles were broken and both doors were swung open wide. Frankly, it looked as if someone had held an all night “rage” party in the bungalow. The king bed mattress was nearly knocked off the bed frame and pillows and linens were strewn across the floor. And then there was the bathroom… Clearly, whoever did this never made it to finishing school.


Swinging from the curtains? Really?


That’s an unlit candle on the bed, not a shot glass (thankfully).


Absolutely unacceptable.

Who would have done such a thing, thought the staff. After all, Mikeno Lodge is located at park headquarters in Rumangabo, which is a very secure place. This had to be an inside job. If you are thinking what they were thinking, you would have a clear image of the likely perpetrators: juveniles, about four feet tall, and covered in hair from head to toe. Lodge staff followed their intuition and headed down to the Senkweke Center to see if “the girls” might have escaped. Turns out there had been a break in the electric fence. Although mountain gorilla orphans, Ndeze, Ndakasi, and Maisha all had saintly looks on their faces, the pieces of the puzzle seemed to be falling into place. Upon closer inspection back at the bungalow, one could see the faint outlines of gorilla feet. Interestingly, there were no signs of baby gorilla footprints. It appears that baby Matabishi – a male – remained behind at the Senkwekwe Center and displayed a level of maturity that far exceeded his age. I know what you’re thinking… Girls just want to have fun, right?


Ndeze: Do I look like a criminal?



  1. Sheryl Bottner June 18, 2014 Reply

    My, Ndeze has grown so much! She’s quite beautiful.

    They didn’t cover the room in toilet paper; that’s a plus.

  2. Anjy Roemelt June 18, 2014 Reply

    It still looks quite orderly compared to one of my daughter’s rooms 😉

  3. Amy Mayers June 18, 2014 Reply

    At a time when most of the news is so dark, thanks for a good laugh!

  4. Virginie LABAT June 18, 2014 Reply

    Well, well, well, she was bored … that is all ! She wanted to test the matress, she wanted to make sure you really run a luxury lodge … Can you ask her what is her opinion ? Thanks to let us know.

  5. Guy June 18, 2014 Reply

    My, how they are growing up…..

  6. Lila June 18, 2014 Reply

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful adventure that these young, beautiful, mischievous gorilla girls went on! And I absolutely Love that look in Ndeze’s face in the picture at the end of the post:)

    I’ve been away from this blog for about a year and it warmed my heart and brought a huge smile to my face to hear about how these gorilla kids are growing up! Thanks for your extraordinary work raising, teaching, protecting, and loving them!

    Praying the gorillas here & all gorillas on Earth a Long, Happy, Healthy, and SAFE life!!

    P.S. Had the ‘girls’ decided to venture elsewhere after escaping from the electric fence, may they have been lost/not returned to the sanctuary or at risk of being hunted or trapped by poachers/killed by local people?

  7. Judy Rees June 20, 2014 Reply

    Just wonderful to discover more about you. Am so happy to read about all that you do and your important work in ensuring the survival of our beautiful and precious Gorillas.
    I hope to visit next year but am worried about all the unrest. I keep picturing me with a gun and fighting for the Gorillas and my lives.
    Will donate when I have some money. Thank you to all of the rangers and vets and terrific people out there.
    Love Jude.

  8. Instinct Safaris July 16, 2014 Reply

    Haha, what a story 🙂 Hope we will be able to again donate to Virunga National Park, soon! We have started to collect a fraction of our community funds from our wildlife safaris to forward to your cause.

  9. m.s. December 13, 2015 Reply

    so cute….

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