About Mazuka

Mazuka is the newest member of the Senkwekwe sanctuary and the only gorilla not to have been orphaned in the usual sense, though her circumstances are not without tragedy. In June 2017, Mazuka’s leg was caught in a snare laid by poachers, a fate met by hundreds of gorillas each year throughout the Congo. 

Upon being discovered, it was clear that Mazuka had been suffering alone in the forest for several days. It was hoped that, following medical intervention, Mazuka could be returned to her family within a week. However, the injuries inflicted by the snare were so severe that Mazuka’s foot had to be completely amputated.

Mazuka's Arrival

Despite the terrible ordeal, with the help of the gorilla doctors and caretakers at the Senkwekwe centre, Mazuka showed incredible resilience to recover from her critical condition. After several months of rehabilitation, she even learned to climb again. Nevertheless, Mazuka’s disability left her too vulnerable to be reunited with her troop in the Virunga mountains. 

To ensure her safety, it was necessary for Mazuka to become a permanent resident of the sanctuary, where she settled quickly thanks to the love and support she received from the dominant male, Matabishi. In recognition of the miraculous turnaround that granted her a new family, the caretakers opted to change the name of the brave young female from Yalala to Mazuka, which translates from swahili as “resurrection”.

The Senkwekwe Centre
Photo credit:

She is not an actual orphan but due to unfortunate circumstances, she was torn from her family. She has shown extreme bravery.

Andre Bauma Head Caretaker, Senkwekwe Centre

Your adoption will help care for the orphan gorillas of Senkwekwe as well as the wild mountain gorillas that call Virunga their home.

    01
    $10
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    $10

    Funds an enrichment activity for our orphan gorillas.

  • 02
    $25
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    $25

    Supports the conservation of wild gorillas by funding a gorilla tracker for one day.

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    $75
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    $75

    Learn more about the gorilla orphans project and our efforts to protect the gorilla habitat.

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Learn more about the gorilla orphans project and our efforts to protect the gorilla habitat.