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This sweet baby gorilla is cozying up to his rescuer after he was orphaned in Cameroon. His name is Bobga, and his new best friend is Alvin Muma, one of the staff of a nursery. These photos show that Bobga is now safe, sound, and thrilled with his new home and companions.
13. Saving Animals
The Limbe Wildlife Centre provides care to approximately 250 animals at a time. These include the Western Lowland Gorilla, which is critically endangered, the Central and Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzee, Drill, Preuss Monkey, and the African Grey Parrot – which are also endangered.
Laura Craddock is the coordinator of the center’s Fundraising and Communications. She took the photos shortly after Bobga relaxed into the arms of his caregiver. Bobga plays and sleeps in a safe and secure enclosure when he isn’t hanging out in the nursery. His caregivers are always nearby to care and soothe him.
Bobga was found alone earlier this year in a wooden crate. He was tied up. His mother was not with him, and would never have abandoned her baby. This hints that the rest of his family faced a truly terrible situation.
“The little one had to start his life in a small cage tied to a pole,” Sandra Henoch, spokesperson for Pro Wildlife. Pro Wildlife is an animal organization that is based in Germany which offers support to the Limbe Wildlife Centre. “He is probably a victim of the illegal wildlife trade.”
9. Endangered Animals
Limbe Wildlife Centre says that deforestation, disease, and the illegal animal trade are the top three causes of population decrease. The Centre is busy rescuing birds, primates and other animals who would have otherwise perished. Bobga was a victim of the illegal wildlife trade, but the goal is for him to become self-sufficient.
8. Bobga the Explorer
Bobga was estimated to be about 15 months old when he was rescued. He then boarded the car for a long drive to his new home. It took 15 months to get across Cameroon to the Limbe Centre. After some time in quarantine, Bobga was eager to explore his new surroundings.
7. Safe and Secure
According to Craddock, “It is important for an orphan gorilla, like Bobga, to feel safe and secure with his caretaker and here these pictures capture tender moments of rest between Bobga and one of his dedicated caretakers, Alvin.” Thankfully, Alvin is committed to helping this gorilla live a better life.
6. Learning Social Skills
The experts at Limbe Wildlife Centre know just how to take care of new gorillas. “Foraging, playing, learning social skills, stimulating curiosity, climbing and grooming all are crucial elements of his rehabilitation, as is the rest,” said Craddock. Thankfully, Bobga has taken to his new routine with excitement.
5. Stopping Wildlife Trade
She added that the goal was to give animals a second chance and to stop illegal wildlife trades which are decimating the gorilla population. “We provide a second chance to victims of the illegal wildlife trades, educate the local community on environmental protection and provide alternative employment to ex-hunting communities.”
4. Learning to Gorilla
Peggy Motsch is the primate well-being and population manager for the Limbe Wildlife Centre. She says Bobga’s rehabilitation is going well. “Bobga has been busy learning skills from his dedicated caretakers as part of his rehabilitation — including foraging, playing, learning social skills, stimulating curiosity, climbing and grooming.”
3. School in Session
Bobga will be returned to the wild if the staff believe he has the skills necessary to survive and thrive. But for now, school is still in session as he learns how to be a proper gorilla. Bobga enjoys playing the most, knocking around a soccer ball to improve his dexterity. He also loves climbing, which is a key skill for a gorilla to learn to live in the wild.
“Bobga has grown into a playful, confident, and strong gorilla,” Motsch said. “Every day he exhibits the skills he would need to survive in a semi-free enclosure and, hopefully one day, for being back in the wild.”
1. Cuddle Time
“He loves to run and roll around, play, forage and climb the different structures (and people!),” Motsch said. However, he also enjoys downtime. Alvin decided to lay down on the ground so Bobga could take a rest from his training when the young gorilla decided it was time to cuddle.