Lubutu is named after the hot and dry Congolese town where he was rescued in 2011 by the wildlife authority after months of investigation. Four people, who were preparing to illegally sell Lubutu, were arrested in the operation. Lubutu was thought to be around one-and-a-half years old when he was confiscated, but it was difficult to estimate his age because he was so sick at the time. For at least nine months, Lubutu had been eating human foods like cassava and salted fish, which are unhealthy for gorillas and especially inappropriate for an infant gorilla who needs milk. When he was rescued, Lubutu was suffering from severe hair loss and malnutrition and was very weak, dehydrated, and traumatized.
Despite his rough start, Lubutu has adapted well to life at GRACE. When he was integrated into the gorilla group, he took to the other gorillas immediately. This was a very promising sign, since he had spent a considerable amount of time in captivity. Lubutu is now healthy, although he has suffered some growth issues due to the malnutrition he experienced early on. He is a very active little guy. He is constantly on the move and loves to play, especially chasing and wrestling games with young males. He is silly and gentle and has endeared himself to every person who has met him!
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