Mountain gorillas ( Gorilla beringei beringei) are one of the most critically endangered great apes in the world. The most common cause of mountain gorilla morbidity and mortality is trauma (e.g., injury from conspecifics or snare entrapment). We conducted a retrospective case-control study of free-ranging, human-habituated mountain gorillas to evaluate factors associated with snare entrapment and the results of clinical intervention. Data were collected from clinical records on all clinical intervention cases ( n=132) in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda, conducted between 1995-2015. Wildlife veterinarians treated 37 gorillas entrapped in snares and 95 gorillas for other clinical conditions (including trauma and respiratory illness). Multivariate statistical analyses revealed that young gorillas (<8 yr old) were more likely than older gorillas to become snared; that comorbidities delayed times to intervention (≥3 d); and that severity of wounds at the time of intervention were associated with increased risk of lasting impairment (including loss of limb or limb function, or death) within 1 mo after intervention. Our results may influence decisions for gorilla health monitoring and treatment to most effectively conserve this critically endangered species.
- Conservation medicine
- mountain gorilla
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics