Oyin, one of the "Taiping Four" gorillas has died
This update was filed by the International Fund for Animal Welfare's Christina Pretorius from South Africa.
14 July, 2008
At the end of June, we were excited to receive the following news from Felix Lankester, project manger of the Limbe Wildlife Centre in Cameroon: “The introductions of the T4 have gone remarkably well and they are now fully integrated with the resident group.
At least... we can all have a smile at the gorillas looking very relaxed sitting high up eyeing their new ever-green environment.”
At least … Just a couple of weeks earlier we were all devastated to learn that Oyin, the single female gorilla in the T4 group, had died from an as yet undiagnosed illness. This is how Felix broke the news:
“I am afraid that I do not have good news. Yesterday morning Oyin, one of the T4 gorillas, died. She had been suffering from an illness since late May and we have been fighting to diagnose what the problem was and to treat her since she began showing symptoms."
“At the LWC we are all completely devastated and exhausted. We have been battling with Oyin for the past 10 days and we are all wiped out.”
The news came as a terrible blow – but our hearts went out to our friends at the LWC who worked so hard to save Oyin’s life, and the staff and most particularly to Carin Cloete, the primate keeper at the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa (NZGSA) who had become “mother” to the four gorillas when they arrived at the zoo as not much more than infants.
At this time it is still unclear what led to Oyin’s illness and eventually passing. We are awaiting the results of a laboratory analysis that will give us a final picture – rest assured once this is available we will let our supporters know.
The good news is that the rest of Oyin’s little band, collectively known as the T4 – Oyin, Tinu and Abbey – are now thoroughly integrated into Limbe’s main group of gorillas bringing their numbers up to 16.
The gorillas have the run of an extremely large enclosure, with plenty of opportunity for tree climbing, hide and seek, or simply taking some peace and quiet out of eyeshot if they wish.