Update on Kalonge, the Rescued Orphan Gorilla


We are happy to report that Kalonge, who was rescued last spring, continues to thrive at the Senkweke Center. Her caregivers have been bathing her in affection ever since she arrived and the Gorilla Doctors have been keeping a close eye on her health. For those of you who don’t know about Kalonge, she was caught in a snare in the forest between Walikale and Kuhuzi-Biega National Park. The chief of a nearby village alerted park authorities to make sure she received treatment and wouldn’t fall into the hands of animal traffickers.


Until a week ago, no one knew if Kalonge was a mountain gorilla or eastern lowland “Grauer’s” gorilla. As is often the case, genetic testing was needed to make the determination. The test results from the Max Planck Institute have shown that young Kalonge is indeed a Grauer’s gorilla. For this reason, she can only be a guest at the Senkwekwe Center and must be transferred to the GRACE facility for lowland gorillas in Butembo. Kalonge will be sad to leave her caregivers, but she’ll get to join a large family of gorillas at GRACE and will also receive loving care from the staff there. And, Kalonge will get to fly in an airplane!


  1. John Fisher November 15, 2014 Reply

    I recently watched a documentary on NetFlix about the plight of the small population of mountain gorillas left in the world. It saddened my heart to see that poachers are so cruel and heartless. I wish you all the very best in your efforts to keep the remaining population of mountain gorillas safe, and hopefully some of them will breed and restore the population back to larger numbers.

    • Sarah February 21, 2015 Reply

      Just watched Virunga on Netflix last night… I hope that they are able to keep the mountain gorillas safe to bring their numbers up! What a great effort these people make, and what a tragedy for those that don’t care and are doing anything to diminish their numbers!

  2. Mallory March 6, 2015 Reply

    The Virunga documentary has shaken me to the core. I pray for the park rangers, citizens of the Congo, and the beautiful animals. What passion and bravery. My heart goes out to all of you! I was especially affected by the footage of the gorillas and elephants. Such beautiful creatures. I cried so hard when Kaboko died. I pray he is happy and running around in heaven with his family. Continue to fight the good fight! You have my support and deepest admiration.

  3. Dharmadevi Barathakumaran June 9, 2015 Reply

    Till yesterday, I did not know that this place existed. I saw a Nat Geographic post quite by accident and then was interested to know about the mountain gorilla and human conflicts. The Virunga documentary was mind-blowing and made me feel shameful for being a human. At the same time Andre and Emmanuel’s tenderness and strength and all those of the park rangers’ made me happy for the justice that exists still in this beautiful world. THANK YOU for all you do. No amount of money can match the dedication and commitment you show!!

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