Young Gorillas Seen Dismantling Poachers’ Traps For First Time

Two young gorillas worked together to dismantle a poacher’s trap in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park - and researchers say they have never seen them behave like this.

The two juveniles were seen dismantling snares days after one of the crude traps - made of bent bamboo stalks - had killed another youngster.

‘"This is absolutely the first time that we’ve seen juveniles doing that … I don’t know of any other reports in the world of juveniles destroying snares,’ said Veronica Vecellio from the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

‘We are the largest database and observer of wild gorillas … so I would be very surprised if somebody else has seen that.’

Two young gorillas worked together to disarm a trap, tracker John Ndayambaje said.

Both were about four years old - and one jumped on the bent tree branch and broke it, while the other removed the noose.

Vecellio says that she hopes the knowledge of how to disarm the traps spreads naturally - as the researchers will not teach the gorillas new behaviours.

Vecellio says, ‘No we can’t teach them. We try as much as we can to not interfere with the gorillas. We don’t want to affect their natural behaviour.