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

The last two months has been a roller-coaster of desperate sadness and incredible elation for all concerned for the welfare of the Taiping 4 gorillas.

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.

Kind regards,

Christina Pretorius

Comments: 1

9 years ago

Gave a needed hand to a Skunk yesterday
I still can't believe that this actually happened. Last night, I was walking to a friend's house in Vancouver, B.C. where I live. I saw a small skunk in a yard next to my friend's house; it had a Slurpee cup around it's neck. Its head was totally covered by this clear, round-topped plastic cup. It had abviously poked its head into the cup to get whatever was left in it. Once it had done this there
was no way for it to come off, as the top of the cup was tighly around its neck. I was amazed the animal let me come as close to it as it did. I bent down and it came up to me surprisingly. I then grabbed the cup and tried to gently pull it off it's head. The skunk pulled away immediately, and I lost my grip because it was on very tight. I then got it come back, and I pulled again, but it was very hard to pull off, and the animal wasn't overly cooperative,lol. It started to run away with the cup still tightly around its neck. I then said to myself "Screw this, I have to get this thing off it, or the animal will die.
I got up next to him again, hoping again that I wouldn't get sprayed. He stopped, and when he did I grabbed the cup with both hands and held on tightly as the skunk backed up and yanked it head around. I am very happy to say that the 3rd attempt was successful!
It came off and he took off like a shot.

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