Young gorillas are taking conservation matters into their own hands.

Our human efforts of trying to save African animals from snares, poachers, poisonous bait, habitat destruction… the list is long… most of the time seems like a battle we can not win.
But here’s a different story. 
In this tale, there is a victory for wildlife conservation, and it comes from the wildlife itself!

Take that Poachers. YEAH.

If anyone questions the intelligence of Gorillas, think again
Two young mountain gorillas, in a group followed by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund in Rwanda, have learned to deactivate snares that would otherwise kill them.

This news warms my heart.

In the past, adult gorillas have been observed dismantling snares but now it seems the skills are being learned by the younger generation.

The ramifications of this are HUGE. Just think about it.

Young gorillas destroying snare. Photo from Diane Fossey fund


Snares set by poachers are one of the worst threats to the safety of the mountain gorillas.

It is not uncommon for poacher’s snares to kill gorillas. The gorillas die of complications from  gangrene from rope cuts, and dislocated shoulders when they try to escape the snares hold on them.

The Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project (MGVP), makes every effort to save these snare caught apes, but too often it is too late.

Gorillas Helping Save Themselves

If the gorillas associate the snares with being bad, and they begin to dismantle every snare they come across, it will be one less thing the gorillas and their human helpers have to worry about.

“Our battle to detect and destroy snares from the park is far from over… however… we can proudly confirm that gorillas are doing their part too!” said Felix Ndagijimana, director of the Karisoke Center.


For more stories on animals and Africa, and to connect with others who share your passion:

Join our tribe: Subscribe to


If you were inspired by this post, please like and share it:

12 Replies to “Gorilla wins Poacher vs. Gorilla battle”

  1. I am absolutely thrilled to hear about this. Hopefully, these gorillas can pass on their knowledge to many of their tribe and beyond. Thank you Lori for this encouraging news.

  2. Wow. That the idea and the technique for destroying a snare is being passed down is simply amazing and heartening. I love the first picture too.

  3. I love that photo.. screw all you humans who do not come to this forest without reverence for all life… my motto is; Life on this planet is not just about humans
    The major issue is over population…. too many humans.. support all efforts for family planning
    are we going to wind up with only little yorkies and chihuahuas and all things Wild extinct? no lions, tigers, wolves, cougars, gorillas, hippos, rhinos.. tropical forests
    Reverence for all living things is the only attitude/philosophy that will save our planet

  4. I think you took the words right from the gorillas brain. And I agree, begonias and kitty cats are wonderful, but we need the real thing – oaks and mountain lions. So many of us are in need of a re-wilding of our souls. That is why I spend so much time in Africa, it is the easiest place for me to re-wild. That or Wyoming and Montana.

  5. Thank you, Lori. I’ve been a D.F.G.F. supporter for many years. “Gorillas in the Mist” was in my curriculum to teach English (English as a Second Language at UCSB) and at the end of every quarter the students adopted one of the baby gorillas – and went back to their countries with a framed photo of their baby! In any case, thank you so much for this article. To think the gorillas are actually responding with a defense to their destruction! Sure warms my heart. Lori Cleary

  6. What a wonderfully creative way to teach English while promoting animal awareness and conservation. I love it.Thanks for letting us know.

  7. the more humans there are and those humans having contact with wild animals- the animals always lose
    this is a nice story Lori but the prospects for everything wild is not good unless something dramatically different happens…
    poor countries are not spending the resources needed to protect endangered species
    I wish the Gates Foundation instead trying to save every baby on Earth would focus on protecting the planet and its wildlife..
    can you imagine not having lions, tigers, gorillas, wolves, bears, orcas
    we are so focused on short term greed that it blinds us to what is to come and what that will be
    sorry for being downbeat but the current direction has no future
    may the force be with you Lori

  8. I agree the great apes are an obvious group needing protection but it’s difficult to think of many species at this point that don’t need our concern an efforts. Thanks for your comment.

  9. I could not agree more. Too many organizations are working on their own and we need more collaboration. That is why I have not opened my OWN non profit but support others who are doing work that really helps save wildlife and habitats long term through Bush School Programs.

Comments are closed.