$40K Baby Gorilla Saved From Poachers
But experts worry about ones they miss
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Oct 12, 2011 2:43 AM CDT
Updated Oct 12, 2011 9:29 AM CDT
A vet reaches out to baby Shamavu after he was rescued from poachers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.   (Facebook)
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(Newser) – A baby gorilla has been saved from poachers seeking $40,000 for the highly protected infant. But experts worry about how many more infants have been stolen from parents likely butchered by animal traffickers, reports MSNBC. The baby gorilla, hidden in a small backpack, was "extremely tense and stressed, holding his legs and arms tight up against his body, and turning his head away when he got too frightened," said the vet who treated him after his rescue in the Democratic Republic of Congo. "If you can imagine" a human baby, this one "is in a similar stage of life, and he needs some consistency in care in order to bond and feel safe," said a statement from the Virunga National Park, where the gorilla is being cared for.

It's "very likely that the mother and other gorillas were killed because it's very difficult to take a baby gorilla from its family," noted a ranger. A record four gorilla infants have been rescued this year. "If four have been caught, the question is how many have been missed?" asked a park spokeswoman. The saved gorilla, named Shamavu after the ranger who rescued him, is getting 24-hour care. Two caretakers will "even sleep with him at night on the same bed," said the vet treating the baby, who will likely spend his life in the sanctuary.