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Cantsbee the lost silverback gorilla returns home

Missing Silverback Gorilla in Rwanda Returns

Silverback Cantsbee who is approximately 38years old, an age over the average mountain gorilla life expectancy, is the remaining of the silver-backs that Dian Fossey originally observed, and he can be seen and met by many visitors during our exciting Rwanda gorilla safari. He also has the record of holding the longest dominance reign as he took over his group from the now deceased Silverback Pablo back in 1995. Up to date, this group is referred to Pablo’s groSilverback gorilla Cantsbeeup.

The return of Silverback Cantsbee at the start of this year has brought very great joy to the conservation family and all well wishers in Rwanda and in the world at large. In the month of October he was reported missing and later assumed dead after trackers made a comprehensive search for him that turned out unsuccessful. At the start
of this year the sight of Silverback Cantsbee has brought a smile to many!  The disappearance and re-appearance of this gorilla has actually offered a new lesson to researchers about the behavior of gorillas.

The day after his return, he was observed helping his group he was seen helping his group to fight another group that was trying to intrude. He was looking well, strong with no injuries at all. In the following days he together with another silverback have protected the females in this group from intruders and just as before he was seen being groomed by some female.

When was Cantsbee Recorded Missing?

On the 10th of October 2016, trackers of the Dian Fossey gorilla fund reported silverback Cantsbee missing after they observed that he was not with his group as they were conducting their daily monitoring. Because he is aged and his group at the time was moving a lot, the assumed that he had remained behind somewhere. Several teams at the time were sent out to look for him during the following days but all this did not turn out successful.

It was later observed after a couple of days that members within his group had started sub-grouping and a number of the adults were not seen moving with the rest of the group a couple of times a thing that the rangers suggested to be caused by the disappearance of Cantsbee.

Silverback Cantsbee was Presumed Dead

After a thorough search conducted in volcanoes national park the mountain gorilla safari destination, that included trackers of the Dian Fossey Fund and staff members of the Park Authorities under the Rwanda Development Board. They had finally come to a conclusion that he might be dead.

Who is Cantsbee?

Born during the era of heavy poaching in Rwanda which actually prompted renowned primatologist and researcher Dian Fossey to establish anti-poaching patrols, this gorilla was about 38 years old. Luckily thanks to these great efforts, Cantsbee got a change to survive through those trying times and live such a long life becoming one among the iconic gorillas that have ever lived within volcanoes national park – which is the most loved destination for holidaymakers on a gorilla tour.

It is noted that several years back, researcher Dian Fossey believed that Cantsbee’s mother was a male not until after she gave birth. Because of this great surprise, she said “It can’t be” a statement from which the new born gorilla got its name – ‘Cantsbee’. Fortunately, successfully rose through the various stages of development including; being the head of the biggest gorilla family that has ever been recorded and he maintained this dominance for very many years during which he had several off springs. Cantsbee has surpassed the life expectancy of mountain gorillas as well.

Cantsbee ‘s Leadership

He assumed leadership as the dominant silverback of the Pablo gorilla group in 1995 and astonishingly since then has sustained a multi-male gorilla family. He is recognized for the outstanding protection and care he showed to his group members.  Gicurasi his on is the probable successor and unlike when Cantsbee had just disappeared and the group was showing signs of sub grouping, today the group is exhibiting normal behavior.

Excitement among the Dian Fossey Fund Staff

The director of the Karisoke Research Center under the Fossey Fund Felix Ndagijimana said that this has been a very big surprise this new year as all hope was previously lost of ever seeing him again. He added that Cantsbee was well and in a much better shape compared to before. He went on to say this return has given them so many questions including – Why did he leave? Where did he go? among many other.

The researchers together with the trackers were very surprised and thrilled.

Silverback Cantsbee who is approximately 38years old, an age over the average mountain gorilla life expectancy, is the remaining of the silver backs that Dian Fossey originally observed, and he can be seen during our exciting mountain gorilla safari holiday . He also has the record of holding the longest dominance reign as he took over his group from the now deceased silverback Pablo back in 1995. Up to date, this group is referred to Pablo’s group.

This group Pablo is among the research groups in the park so you will not have an opportunity to see them on your Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris.

For more updates about mountain gorillas, visit gorillasafarirwanda.com

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