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cantsbeeThe news of Cantsbee disappearance was reported on October 10th 2016 when the trackers belonging to Dian Fossey Fund could not trace this mighty Silverback from its gorilla family on their daily monitoring routine.

Due to his Old age and considering the fact that the gorilla group was characterized by lots of traveling, the trackers first thought that Cantsbee could have remained behind which prompted them to thim that he may return the next day and still found him no where despite a lot of searching. Since then, several tracking groups have been undertaking extensive searches in the volcanic highlands – a popular destination for Rwanda Gorilla Safari undertakers but painfully no single trace of Cantsbee has been identified.

As a result of Cantsbee disappearance, his gorilla group Pablo has started to sub group and that a range of adults could not be seen with the entire group couple of times which is a common phenomenon among various Mountain Gorilla Families that lose such a dominant Silverback.

Cantsebee close to thirty eight (38) years of age had exceeded the average Mountain Gorilla life expectancy and is noted to be one of the last Silverbacks that thrived during the Dian Fossey era and is credited for holding the longest dominance reign following its takeover of Pablo group from Pablo Silverback in the year 1995. The group was able to maintain the name Pablo and due to his old age, his son Gicurasi has been like the leader of the family for the previous years.

The Karisoke Research team anticipates that the disappearance of Cantsbee might result into sub-grouping of Pablo and that a new group is likely to emerge following the new leadership. This will definitely mean an increment on the gorilla groups in the Volcanoes National Park – the center for Gorilla Safaris and tours in Rwanda Africa.

Cantsbee has been a responsible and active father known to have sired over 30 off springs throughout his period of stay.  He is also credited for his selfless protection of his family including saving the infants from snares.  The Dian Fossey Fund promises to keep the search for Cantsbee on and closely monitor the changes that might occur in the Pablo Gorilla group.

Pablo Gorilla Group is basically a research group and is not among the listed groups for gorilla trekking safaris in Rwanda. Volcanoes National Park has ten (10) habituated gorilla groups dedicated for tracking and is part of the Greater Virunga landscape which supports 480 Mountain Gorillas shared between Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. Other Mountain Gorilla Populations (a minimum of 400) thrive in the adjacent prime Uganda gorilla safari destination of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park putting the global Mountain Gorilla population to 880.

By Siima Simon Peter

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