Orphaned Lowland Gorilla Kalonge Thriving at GRACE

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Kalonge (front and center) receiving a warm welcome from Lubutu, Amani, Muyisa, and Ndjingala

The news about young Kalonge couldn’t be better. After finishing her quarantine period at GRACE, she was introduced to the other gorillas and was literally accepted with open arms. One never knows how these introductions will go because there are social dynamics at play in any group. In this case, the dynamics clearly worked in young Kalonge’s favor.

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Kalonge displayed an immediate affinity for adult female, Dunia

One touching example of her acceptance occurred on the first day that she was allowed in with the other gorillas. Kalonge was way out in new forested enclosure with the group when the evening bell rang — the signal for all the gorillas to come in for the night. Naturally, all but Kalonge took the cue and quickly made their way back to the main building. Poor Kalonge was left alone in the forest and soon began to panic and cry. Six year-old Ndjingala heard her cries and ran back to the forest enclosure to find her. Ndjingala soon reappeared with Kalonge riding on her back, giving her a ride all the way back to the main building.

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Earlier on Day 1, Kalonge hitches a ride with Dunia

Those involved with Kalonge’s care couldn’t be happier with how things have turned out. Heartfelt thanks to everyone at GRACE for taking such good care of the gorillas there. If you would like to read more about Kalonge’s integration at GRACE, please visit the GRACE blog.



  1. elena marchi September 9, 2015 Reply

    vorrei insegnare della mia lingua dei segni 🙂

  2. Janet September 9, 2015 Reply

    i love getting emails from you about your mountain gorillas!
    very happy to see them doing so well…thanks to your protection and care! keep up the good work!

  3. Stanislava Šťastná September 10, 2015 Reply

    I am glad that everything turned out well.Excellent work!

  4. Barbara September 10, 2015 Reply

    Great to hear, congratulations! You do such a good job 🙂

  5. Sebastian pinto September 12, 2015 Reply

    I’m really excited by yours work and i we hope that the gorillas can survive.
    I’m 15 years old, i’m from CHILE, i’m waiting to finish the school and then i will study veterinary medicine to then go to help you in virunga to conserve this beautiful species and the earth.
    A warm greeting from chile.

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