This ‘Gorilla Doctor’ Is a Hero to African Wildlife and Children

Gaspard Nzayisenga is a Rwandan field veterinarian and an essential player in a team that provides critical care for the mountain gorillas of east-central Africa. He is also an essential player in the lives of 36 preschool children.

After a long day in the field Dr. Gaspard returns to the village where he lives to check on the children attending Archangels Preschool. He established the school two years ago to provide an education to disadvantaged children whose families cannot afford to send them to school.

“By transforming children’s lives now,” Dr. Gaspard said, “I believe that we can change the course of their future and ours, giving them the gift of brighter futures and hence breaking the cycle of poverty for generations to come.”

Dr. Gaspard received his degree in veterinary medicine in Rwanda and completed an internship with Gorilla Doctors before joining the organization’s staff in 2015. Gorilla Doctors is an Aid for Africa member based in Rwanda focused on saving the mountain and eastern lowland gorillas.

Gorilla Doctors, also known as the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, is almost entirely staffed by African wildlife veterinarians who form teams to provide emergency care to gravely injured and ill gorillas and to infant gorillas rescued from poachers.

The veterinarians also monitor gorillas for signs of injury or illness, undertake gorilla health research to direct management and conservation efforts and conduct surveillance in other wildlife populations for diseases that could threaten gorillas.

Because the transmission of human diseases to gorillas is one of the greatest threats, Gorilla Doctors runs a preventive medicine program for the staff who serve as trackers and guides and their families. This “one health” approach protects the gorillas and ensures that the people who come into close contact with gorillas are as healthy as possible.

By supporting advanced training for African veterinarians who seek careers in wildlife conservation, Gorilla Doctors is investing in the next generation of wildlife veterinarians who dedicate their lives to ensuring that mountain gorilla populations survive.

By supporting preschool children in need, Dr. Gaspard is investing in the future of his community and Rwanda by ensuring children receive the education they need to thrive.

Aid for Africa is an alliance of more than 60 U.S.-based nonprofits and their African partners who help children, families, and communities throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. Aid for Africa’s grassroots programs focus on health, education, economic development, arts & culture, conservation, and wildlife protection in Africa.

Photo Credit: Aid for Africa

62 comments

Maureen G
Maureen G2 days ago

I agree with Linda W that this man is definitely special and thank you for telling us about him.

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Leanne K
Leanne K2 days ago

He, of course, is right. As are you when you say he is a hero.

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Angela K
Angela K6 days ago

GREAT !!!

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sharon b
sharon b7 days ago

Kudos to the doctor

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Michele B
Michele B7 days ago

great read

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Bill E
Bill Eagle7 days ago

We need more of these kinds of Heros.

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HEIKKI R
HEIKKI R7 days ago

thank you

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Lisa M
Lisa M7 days ago

Thanks.

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Lisa M
Lisa M7 days ago

Thanks.

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Winn A
Winn A7 days ago

What a great man.

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