Yours and ours

There is a very brave fellow in Cambodia named Aki Ra who was forced into military service under the Khmer Rouge when he was a child. One of his duties was laying landmines. Now that he’s an adult and he isn’t being forced to lay landmines under threat of death, guess what he’s doing with his time? Digging up landmines and dismantling them, of course. He’s found quite a few:

And now it appears that Aki Ra may have some gorilla counterpoints in Rwanda. From the National Geographic article about some hairy kids who are getting pretty good at taking apart poachers’ traps:

On Tuesday tracker John Ndayambaje spotted a trap very close to the Kuryama gorilla clan. He moved in to deactivate the snare, but a silverback named Vubu grunted, cautioning Ndayambaje to stay away, Vecellio said.

Suddenly two juveniles—Rwema, a male; and Dukore, a female; both about four years old—ran toward the trap.

As Ndayambaje and a few tourists watched, Rwema jumped on the bent tree branch and broke it, while Dukore freed the noose.

The pair then spied another snare nearby—one the tracker himself had missed—and raced for it. Joined by a third gorilla, a teenager named Tetero, Rwema and Dukore destroyed that trap as well.

Now, I know I keep harping on about how afraid I am about the day when simians rise up against us humans, and seeing as humans were the ones who set the traps in Rwanda, I could see how this recent event might add fuel to the “they are just going to get sick of our shit and kill us” fire. However, I think we can still all figure out a way to get along, and if anybody can do this, it’s Aki, Rwema, Dukore and Tetero. Thanks, you guys, and let me know what I can do to help aside from dismantling landmines. I’m just not very good with my hands.

Photo by jystewart on Flickr

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