In Congo, direct observations of the reintroduced gorillas in the Lesio-Louna Reserve are rare, but the observations that are made show that the largest group, led by the silverback Makoua, continues to do very well. The group currently comprises upto 25 individuals, including two new babies born in early 2016 and spotted for the first time in June 2016 after two days of intensive tracking of the group.
The solitary silverback Kelle continues to roam alone, while another silverback, Djeke, is accompanied by a young male Loketo, and appears to have also attracted three other sub-adults to his group, including two females. The old silverback Yambo continues to thrive on his forest island, with daily feeding.
The two young orphans at the rehabilitation site, Owando and Yengo, were released on 11 November 2016. A new orphan, Loukoléla, was received by the project earlier in November, the first orphan gorilla confiscated in Congo for five years. A rescued moustached monkey was also released, and quickly joined a wild group.
The Lesio-Louna protected area management project continues as normal, with regular anti-poaching and wildlife monitoring patrols. Notable large mammals in the Reserve apart from the reintroduced gorilla population include hippo, which can now be seen in groups of up to ten individuals, forest buffalo, leopard, de Brazza’s monkey, moustached monkey, Malbrouck monkey, sitatunga, bushbuck and numerous duiker species.