Gorillas are known for being incredibly smart, right? Like, Whoa, that is some seriously similar DNA those guys and us guys are rocking. But gorillas in Rwanda have been spotted doing something beyond "incredibly smart." Gorillas are -- get this -- destroying the traps poachers set for them. The very snares responsible for maiming and killing gorillas. Destroying traps with their bare hands!! And -- get THIS -- two young gorillas worked TOGETHER to find and dismantle traps "just days after a poacher's snare had killed one of their own."
If that's not the coolest thing ever, I don't know what is.
Poacher's snares are apparently one of the biggest threats to the mountain gorilla population. But poachers aren't actually trying to catch gorillas -- the "bush-meat hunters" of Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park (where the mountain gorillas live) set rope-and-branch traps to catch antelope and other animals. Unfortunately, sometimes gorillas get trapped instead, and while adults can usually free themselves, young gorillas don't always make it out alive.
Most recently a trapped baby gorilla named Ngwino died of snare-related wounds (her shoulder had been dislocated trying to escape, and gangrene developed where ropes cut into her legs).
Was Mission: Destroy Poachers' Snares an attempt by the gorillas to avenge Ngwino? Conservationists think maybe it was, and I totally agree. Talk about the earth reclaiming itself. Talk about poetic justice. Talk about monkey business!
Poachers better be watching their backs from now on ...
Do you think the young gorillas were avenging Ngwino's death?
Image via Thomas Widmann/Flickr