The Aspinall Foundation To Release Three Gorillas Back Into The Wild
In November 2015 Mbwambe the gorilla was taken to the Parc de la Lékédi in a 4×4 vehicle by the Aspinall Foundation. The Parc already has two orphans that were born in the wild under their care. One is a 13-year-old male called Rafa, the other named Dikélé is just 4 years old and had been severely traumatised.
As one would expect initially the three gorillas were very cautious of one another. However, it wasn’t long (just a matter of weeks) that Mbwambe and Dikélé became firm friends. Dikélé in fact has become extremely attached to Mbwambe and before you knew it, all three were spending time together and they were developing strong bonds.
All three still developing
Whilst Rafa is still a teenager, he will eventually become a powerful silverback with the ability to protect the females in his group. Dikélé despite facing trauma so early in her life is now filled with energy and her confidence grows every day. In contrast Mbwembe has always been a gentle soul. When she lived at Port Lympne, she used to love being tickled by her handlers and often shared Djala’s morning fruit tea. She has always loved her food and this remains just as true today.
Back to the wild
Damian and Victoria Aspinall are journeying to the foundation’s flagship project in Africa to supervise the release of Mbwambe, Rafa and Dikélé to the foundation’s habitation island in the Batéké Plateau national park. The three gorillas will spend approximately half a year there before ultimately being released back in to the wild.