MUSANZE, RWANDA – A full-grown male gorilla can weigh in excess of 450 pounds, so getting them off a mountain is not an option.
Gorilla doctors must trek out into the wild and go to them.
Rwanda is home to 11 million people. Tourism is thriving, but it is not the only thing saving the gorillas.
A team of 12 veterinarians from three different Central African countries are saving the lives of these endangered animals by making house calls.
The Houston Zoo is one of their biggest supporters.
Part of every dollar spent at the Houston Zoo helps the gorilla doctors with their mission.
All the planning for their weekly visits up the mountain begins at their compound about 1 and 1/2 miles above sea level, which isn't far from the mountain gorilla's natural habitat.
Disease is one of the greatest threats they're faced with. As more tourists come in contact with them, the greater the gorilla's chances of catching a disease.
The mountain gorilla population is growing at a rate of 4 percent a year. Additional quality care will ensure that trend continues.