Shali, Rwanda, Cough discussed on Sidedoor
The modern west is out. Now, the stories will take you to the windswept prairie were old West Ghost town once stood and a new ghost town in the making were schools and businesses are closing fast. The modern West is exploring rural decline and resilience and asking why does it matter of America's small towns disappear search for the modern West wherever you get your podcasts. Okay let's start with the obvious guerillas are massive. Big Male can be well in excess of four hundred pounds. This is Craig Shelly I mean he's like a big linebacker He's as powerful as ten men today Shali vice president at the African Wildlife. Foundation. But in nineteen seventy-three, he was in the Peace Corps working in Zaire. Now, the Democratic Republic of Congo and that is where he first got a glimpse of these mountain dwelling linebackers today. It's not all that hard to meet a guerilla. If you have a lot of money but back in nineteen seventy-three gorilla tourism wasn't a thing yet is wild animal tourism was starting to take off in other parts of Africa the mountain gorilla experts thought they could appeal to the same set of adventurous and rich tourists. So one day in seventy three, a game warden asked Shali. If he'd help habituate a group of guerrillas, habituate means get them used to having people around step one to tourism. And effectively indicated that I'd be happy to be a Guinea pig. The idea is to find a distance that the wild gorillas are comfortable with, and then quietly work their way closer to the group. At the beginning of this process, the guerrillas tend to be nervous for the most part they've had no encounters with other great apes in particular human great apes and it's frightening for them. One famous story of Habituating Morillas was of Dian Fossey she's a guerilla research pioneer in the nineteen sixties she moved by herself to a volcano in Rwanda and through persistence and patience she ended up habituating a number of guerrilla groups. Fosse's story was told in the nineteen. eighty-eight movie gorillas in the mist Fosse's played by Sigourney Weaver, and there's one part in the movie that shows one of her earliest encounters learning about a guerrillas personal space. Here's what that sounded like. They're scared and lots of wrong inscribing lots of charges in the vegetation and a pretty invigorating experience. I'll say that sounds very exciting. The okay. You're adrenaline going the habituation process is slow. It can take more than a year until a group of guerrillas except having people nearby over the next decade more guerrilla groups were habituated and that habituation gave birth to mountain gorilla tourism because for every new habituated group that meant more tourists could hike into the forest and get close to some of the world's rarest apes and Charlie says from up close there's a lot to love about gorillas. A big beautiful great eighth than an elven guerillas in particular are are very, very majestic. They've got long black hair. They've got lovely features jolly was smitten by nineteen eighty eight. He was still working with guerrillas as director of the mountain gorillas project. It was a group that helped manage Rwanda's volcanoes national park. One of the few places on Earth at that mountain gorillas live in the wild. And why routine would be to go to park headquarters early in the morning Attach myself to a tourist group that was going out with guards and guides assigned to that guerilla group. I would spend the tourist time with them monitoring the Rollo's assessing health and behavioral status and all that kind of stuff. Essentially, it was up to Shali to make sure the guerrillas were healthy. His staff was doing its job and his growing groups of tourists were safe and happy in an average week. He'd visit every habituated gorilla group in the park, which means he spent hours in close quarters with more than one hundred guerrillas. He got to know them and they got used to him. It's the opportunity of a lifetime. Mediate. One of Shali big projects was to do a guerilla census. which is basically the same thing as human senses. But for guerrillas at the time, we didn't even know how many mountain gorillas there were. So every day he'd hike into the park count them watch quietly for a few hours and hike back to park headquarters guerrillas tend to live in these large family groups. So for Shali who knew each group and their habits, they were never that hard to find. A pretty predictable. Pattern throughout the day. Is Sleep throughout the night the and so in the early morning there in what is called night nest daylight the the silverback in particular is likely the first two rows and he's basically often feeding the rest of the group they'll follow and they will feed for a couple of hours they live in electrical a a big salad bowl. Did you say Salad? Bowl? I said that the forest is like a big salad bowl. Guerrillas have basically a diet that consists of probably seventy different plant species and they're selectively feeding as they go about their business in the fourth. Wash Allie was tallying the guerrillas. He also kept an eye on their health. He was used to guerrillas who are under the weather. Usually, it was typical sniffles are sneezes but in case a guerilla got very sick. The parkhead veterinarians on staff the mostly he just watched the gorillas eat and sleep mid morning. They will likely take a rest and so they'll build what are called nests. Girl. Asleep younger Hilas play but mostly they eat. Sounds like the life. Probably six o'clock as the sun is going down the bill, the night nest and starts all over again Mr calling my bed, my night nest. Absolutely. Not. Since Shali spent so much time with these age. They sort of became like an extended family and like everyone's family with goals and cool cousins Shali. Some favorites that he'd get excited to see he remembers this one three year old female named Cotto. Do very very well, she was a very, very interesting young and Albury social within the group and. Yet. She was a very special rule what mater special? I think basically the social interactions, it's not at all unusual for for young males within a group to be very very social I. Mean they're they're young, they're energetic. They're they're feeling their oats within the group As I recall was was a female who who had the personality of a lot of the young nails that especially during playtime she was right in the thick of things in terms of Interactions One day specifically February twenty Fourth Nineteen eighty-eight Shali and his team noticed cotto cough. He remembers it wasn't a normal tickle in your throat. It was more of a hack. Very harsh cough and it just was continuous on that particular day and as a result of that we determined that we would come back the next day to monitor and then as I recall. The call the subsequent.