Tourist attacked by Gorilla

Old Jan 6th, 2008, 12:17 PM
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Tourist attacked by Gorilla

Anybody else see this?
JaneB is offline  
Old Jan 6th, 2008, 12:34 PM
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WOW. Did NOT see this!

Last year, at this time, I was in Rwanda, probably visiting this Gorilla!

Whew. Would do it again in a heartbeat tho.

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Old Jan 6th, 2008, 12:42 PM
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Fortunately no injuries.

No, I hadn't seen that. Thanks for the link.

Just when you think its riots you must fear, a 400 lb gorilla becomes the real fear!

To think this was captured on film makes it even more interesting and you could see how ashen the victim's face looked. Mine would too.

As the article mentioned, the Susa group is visited often and this male even has a history of being friendly toward people.

A family friend returned from 1 Rwanda trek in Nov and I was told his group had to slither through the mud in retreat because the ranger thought the silverback looked agitated. I don't know what group he saw.

In Uganda, 10 seconds after sitting down at the direction of the ranger to watch the M-group, the silverback roared and charged toward us. Before we had a chance to become terrified he veered to the right and approached the object of his wrath: A female grooming somebody else when he wanted to be groomed. We were never in danger and were just witnessing daily gorilla life, but the realization afterward was scary.

The speculation on this attack was interesting, including mere playfulness. It reinforces no flashes and no eye contact, which could incite the animals.

I wonder if extra caution will be taken or viewing distances increased after this.

Beware Dr. Andrea, who is there right now.
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Old Jan 6th, 2008, 01:07 PM
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On that same site was this:

"Stranded by Kenya riots ... so 'chilled' Chelsy Davy tops up her tan and parties"

[there was a picture a young woman laughing wildly]

"Unable to return home, Chelsy Davy chills out with a bottle of vodka and suntan lotion in Kenya with friends"

I don't know if Chelsy Davy is famous or not but in light of what is going on I found such a frivolous and glib caption offensive.
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Old Jan 6th, 2008, 01:58 PM
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I gotta say, each year I've gone trekking, the tourists seem to be getting closer and closer to the gorillas. Closer than the 7 meter rule allows. Fault of both, the guides and pushy tourists who muscle their way in front of other folks in the groups.

Even though the tourist group gorillas are "habituated" to humans, they are still wild animals and are still unpredictable.

I do hope this opens some eyes and the guides at PNV will be a little tougher on enforcing the 7 meter rule. And tourists will stop trying to get so close.
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Old Jan 6th, 2008, 03:04 PM
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7 meters is plenty close! Sometimes the gorillas initiate a closer encounter, but then you back off.

Maybe this will enforcing the rules easier--for awhile.
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Old Jan 7th, 2008, 01:26 AM
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Wowo what a story! I have never been to see the gorillas, though I would love too.

It reminds me a bit of the Bokito story at Rotterdam zoo last year. Somehow people don't always take these magnificent animals as seriously as they should.

Chelsy Davy btw is, I believe, the girlfriend of Prince Harry. This is the Mail on Sunday website so you really can't expect anything to be taken seriously, especially if they can write about a "famous" person instead.
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Old Jan 8th, 2008, 01:10 AM
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HA!! Thanks for your concern! I am checking from Serena Kigali. We survived two gorilla treks. Of course, I will post more when I return as their internet access is slow as a snail over here.

We visited Group 13 and a group that begins with a K (forgot the name). Group 13 provided a better visit...they were more cooperative. I will tell you that the guides do not respect that 7 meter rule at all. The gorillas were way too close. Two brushed against me, another man and woman had their shirt pulled, etc. Frankly, while it was an amazing experience, I left feeling kind of conflicted. Was this really an ethical activity to participate in? Obviously, tourism in some ways makes the gorillas a valued species and thereby are protected. But on the other hand, aren't we just disturbing them a little too much???

We got to hear a lecture from a gorilla vet and I will share more of her thoughts later. However, I will tell you that a man at the lodge was punched in the chest by a silverback yesterday in the Hura(?) group. He was winded but fine. The whole experience kind of freaked the group out (they were all on the same tour) and they actually decided to end the visit 15 minutes early.

Listen, don't get me wrong. It was amazing....I almost cried twice....

But, it does make me wonder whether the gorillas' interests are truly a priority. The guides are just too invested in their tips (btw, so would I if I had no other options to make money) that they are constantly asking "is everything good?" and "are you happy?" They kept pushing us closer when they took the pictures.

It is a very interesting experience.
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Old Jan 8th, 2008, 12:16 PM
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Crap! That is pretty serious!
But it should still not keep anyone from going to see the gorillas

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Old Jan 8th, 2008, 01:52 PM
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Unfortunately this sounds like it may be reaching a state of over habituation. Perhaps the barrier of respect between the two species is disappearing as people have continued to encroach too closely and the result is gorillas are now confident enough and sometimes enticed into making contact because humans are within the zone that makes them change their behavior. This is terrible not just in that a person may be injured but contact can also be very dangerous for transmitting sickness and disease to the gorillas. I assume the 7 meter buffer zone was deemed appropriate because its far enough to not cause such interactions. For the good of the gorillas and safety of both species they need to be very strict about that buffer before this activity develops into big trouble.
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Old Jan 8th, 2008, 10:44 PM
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If this hasnt made it to any other paper/website and only the Mail on Sunday, I'd take it with a pinch of salt.

I wouldnt use the paper to line a cats litterbox
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