Amani was rescued in 2009 as part of a 3-month investigation by the Congolese wildlife authority that culminated in a sting operation at the Goma airport. On the day she was rescued, Amani was found stuffed into a plastic bag and very dehydrated. She had a bullet lodged in her right leg, a result of the poaching event that killed her family. Veterinarians did surgery and found the top of her tibia was destroyed by the bullet. Amani’s injury has left her permanently disabled, so she walks slowly, making it hard for her to forage for food. We therefore supplement her diet to ensure she receives enough nutrition.
Amani means “peace” in Kiswahili and she received this name because her rescue was facilitated by U.N. peacekeepers stationed in DRC. Amani was part of the first group of gorillas transferred to GRACE by UN helicopter in April 2010. If you ask the GRACE caregivers, many will say that Amani is the most beautiful gorillas at GRACE, both because of her pretty face and her sweet personality. She is low-ranking among the females, but loves to play with the younger gorillas and make peace after conflicts between group members. She is therefore very much living up to her peaceful name!
*Fun Fact: In 2016, a female gorilla born at the Philadelphia Zoo was named after Amani!
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