"Taiping 4" gorilla relocation update: 6 February 2007

Gorillas0628nov_captioned So, some two months after the South African government called a last minute halt to us flying out the T4 gorillas, we are still anxiously waiting the go-ahead to restart the process.

The final go-ahead has to be given by the Government of Malaysia, the de facto “owners” of the gorillas (as they were the confiscating authority), to the SA Government and we all know that the wheels of bureaucracy turn very slowly indeed.

Our concern is that as every day passes our window of opportunity to move the gorillas to the Limbe Wildlife Centre is shrinking. Ideally the gorillas need to be in the Cameroon by no later than the end of March, to give them a couple of month’s opportunity to acclimatise before the West African rainy season sets in.

Fortunately everything is in place for us to move the gorillas swiftly once we get the go-ahead – the gorillas will not need to go through another series of medical tests as these have been done, the travel cages are ready, and Kenya Airways (our long-suffering travel partner in all of this) are on standby.

We are encouraged by regular updates from the South African authorities and their assurances that they are committed to seeing the process through – so we have both fingers and toes crossed that diplomatic obstacles will be negotiated as swiftly as possible, and that the T4 will soon be on their way home!

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