Vumilia, the older of the gorilla orphans in Mutsora, died in the early hours of today.
Vumilia on the right, Mapendo on the left, taken a couple of days ago. Vumilia - meaning Patient - was named as such because he was ill when he arrived, and he needed patience to get better. Mapendo means Love - and she was given this name when she arrived in Mutsora because she showed deep affection for Vumilia.
This is an incredibly sad day. Dr Jacques and Dr Eddy from MGVP have been working tirelessly over recent days to improve the health of Mapendo and Vumilia. Andre, one of the carers for Ndeze and Ndakasi, had also traveled to Mutsora to help with the care of the new orphans. The effort made by MGVP, ICCN, DFGF(I) and WildlifeDirect to save the orphans was significant. We all feel frustrated and sad.
Andre & Mapendo this morning
If you would like to donate to the care of Mapendo please make a monthly contribution of just $20 or more by clicking on the item and Donate button at the side of this blog. Alternatively you can make a one-time donation through the Open One-Time Donation button, and you can insert a note saying that you would like it to go to Mapendo. All these funds will be managed by Dr Lucy and her team in their entirety.
WildlifeDirect donations made through this blog have already been spent (about $2,000) on Mapendo and Vumilia, for logistics, communications, forest food, transport etc. And WildlifeDirect Gorilla Blog donations to the tune of $8K are in the process of being sent to the Gorilla Doctors to cover other costs coming up. The cost of working in isolated areas can be significant - getting forest food, making phone calls, moving around, flying around (due to poor roads and insecurity) - you name it.
Thank you for your support.
Update at 3.30pm with photos just taken by Virginia of Mapendo: