- Our work
The Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project (MGVP) has a ‘one health’ philosophy, which sees gorilla health as linked to that of local people. Consequently they provide community health care and health education services as well as direct veterinary services to the wild mountain gorilla populations. The One Health approach is based on the logic that gorillas are vulnerable to many of the same diseases as humans and livestock, and come into regular contact with them through interactions with tourists and when they leave forest areas to forage in farmland. Consequently it makes sense to see the health of gorillas, local people and livestock as connected, and MGVP argues that there should be both a poverty and conservation benefit to supporting healthcare interventions for all three. Toward this end, the MGVP staff not only monitors and treats gorillas, they conduct relevant health studies of other wildlife and domestic animals, provide employee health programmes for park staff and researchers, and disseminate information about the health of gorillas and other animals, wild and domestic.
A team of veterinarians works together to track ailing gorillas, and treat them when needed, in their native habitat. Although this species remains endangered, their numbers have grown from 248 to over 360 individuals in the Virunga Massif in Rwanda alone also thanks to the work of MGVP.