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:
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.
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.