Gorillas are amazing ape beings. They're very smart and emotional (witness two brothers gleefully welcoming one another when reunited after being separated for three years) and now there are some solid observations that they know what a trap means and are able to dismantle them and cover up what they've done. 

According to ABC news: "Staff at the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda recently witnessed two 4-year-olds and a teenage mountain gorilla work together to destroy the types of snares that have killed at least two young gorillas this year. It was also the first time staff members have been able to see up close exactly how gorillas dismantle the snares. ... One of the staff members reported he moved to dismantle the snare when a silverback (adult male) in the group grunted at him warning him to stay back. Then two youngsters named Dukore and Rwema and a blackback (teen male) named Tetero ran toward the snare. Together they jumped on the taught branch attached to a rope noose and removed the rope. They then ran over to another nearby snare and destroyed it the same way. Pictures the staff members took show the young gorillas then examining broken sticks used to camouflage the noose on the ground."

Gorillas are clearly doing their part to protect themselves and others and these fascinating observations add another dimension to the compassionate conservation movement (see also). While there is an amazing amount of work that still needs to be done to protect gorillas and many other animals, it's surely good to get help from the animals themselves. 

The teaser image from the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund can be found here

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