Gorilla Doctor Joost Philippa lines up Kalonge for an X-Ray.
Young Kalonge, the orphan Grauer’s gorilla, certainly got the full celebrity treatment during the last check on her healing femur. Her veterinary team included specialists from GRACE, Gorilla Doctors, Detroit Zoo, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. For those of you unfamiliar with Kalonge’s story, she was caught in a poacher’s snare in March 2014 and initially rehabilitated at the Senkwekwe Center in Virunga National Park. She was scheduled to be transferred to GRACE Rehabilitation Center for Grauer’s gorillas, but shortly before her departure date, fell out of a tree and fractured her femur. Kalonge eventually made the transfer in July this year.
Getting back to Kalonge’s check-up, Dr. Joost confirmed via x-ray that Kalonge’s leg is still healing, but looks remarkably good considering the fracture healed on its own. Bone growth around the fracture is robust and her femur is becoming stronger with each passing day. Kalonge still moves with a slight limp, but doesn’t appear to be in discomfort and manages to keep up with the other gorillas. And, about that celebrity treatment… truth be told, all the gorillas at GRACE received the celebrity caliber check-up. It should also be noted that like the Senkwekwe Center for mountain gorillas, the permanent staff at GRACE provides its Grauer’s gorillas with outstanding care on a daily basis.
Kalonge with her favorite surrogate mother, Dunia.
Mapendo (at left) also sees herself as Kalonge’s surrogate Mum. Kalonge, who spent many months alone in quarantine after her rescue, can’t get enough of all the attention.