Two gorilla surgeries

Yesterday morning, shortly after we arrived, Benito and Batek (two blackback gorillas) had a fight that left wounds requiring surgery on both individuals. Batek was left with a large, deep wound on his arm, which required stitching of muscles and skin:

Benito, the larger male, had a smaller wound on his backside that also required stitching:

 Both individuals were treated immediately by our veterinary team. As both Benito and Batek each weigh between 150 and 200kg, surgery was performed in the gorilla satellites.

Ainare Idoiaga, Pandrillus Project Manager and Head Veterinarian, stitches Batek’s wound.

Members of the LWC vet team stitch Benito’s wound in the satellite enclosure.

After surgery, Benito’s weight was taken. He weighs nearly 200kg!

Both surgeries were successful, and Benito and Batek are healing well.

In the wild, male gorillas typically leave the group between 6 and 10 years of age, at which point they may join a group of other males, or find a new group with females. In Chella’s group, there are 3 males: Chella, the silverback, Benito, age 16, and Batek, age 13. LWC cares for 16 gorillas, and the lack of avilable space is becoming a more pressing issue as the males age. We only have space for one large gorilla enclosure and one small gorilla enclosure, and will need to make a bachelor group, which contains only males, in the near future to prevent fights for dominance.

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  1. Selma Forotti
    Posted September 25, 2012 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Dear Einare and Dr John,
    Hope these two big boys soon will be better. Ughhh…
    Thanks for the important and good work you and your
    wonderful people in LWC are doing. So happy to see
    you all in January. Big hug for Batek and Benito.
    Warm regards from The Netherlands

  2. Lesa Miller
    Posted September 25, 2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Felicitades Ainare & staff! The gorillas (& other animals) are in good hands at LWC. Thanks for sharing the news & posting photos of the procedure. Good seeing you there… hug.

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