Gorilla Doctors

baby gorilla close-up

Gorilla Doctors

Gorilla Doctors is dedicated to saving the mountain and eastern lowland (Grauer’s) gorilla species one gorilla patient at a time. Our international veterinary team provides hands-on medical care to ill and injured mountain and Grauer’s gorillas living in the national parks of Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). With only 880 mountain gorillas, and an ever decreasing number of Grauer’s gorillas left in the world today, the health and well being of every individual gorilla is vital to the species’ survival. Our veterinary team regularly monitors the health of mountain and Grauer’s gorillas and intervenes to treat individuals with life-threatening illness or injury whenever possible. The Gorilla Doctors also help rescue and treat mountain and Grauer’s gorillas orphaned by poachers.

Gorilla Doctors is a partnership between the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center (WHC) and the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project (MGVP, Inc.) to monitor the health and care for injured and ill gorillas. Executive Director and Chief Veterinary Officer Kirsten Gilardi, also a WHC veterinarian, leads the organization's efforts to ensure the long-term health and survival of the mountain gorilla and the human and animal communities that share their habitat.  Gorilla Doctors also conduct research and develop collaborations that build upon the tremendous resources for animal and human health and agricultural development available at UC Davis. 

For more information:

Gorilla Doctors website

mountain gorilla family

Mountain Gorillas

Mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) live in central Africa, where an estimated 604 animals live in the Virunga Massif with the other 400 living within the boundaries of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. They are now the only great ape species whose numbers in the wild are increasing, largely in part due to the life-saving veterinary care provided by our teams.

Mugaruka Grauer silverback

Grauer's Gorillas

Grauer's gorillas (Gorilla beringei grauerei) remain critically endangered, having experienced a 77% population decline over the last 20 years. Gorilla Doctors aims to save the largest primate on the planet from risk of extinction by developing new tools to monitor their health because they typically cannot get close enough to unhabituated wild Grauer's gorillas to perform visual assessments.