National Geographic : 1962 Nov
(C NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Inspecting drug-filled darts, Dr. Antony Harthoorn i ies a harmless arsenal designed to subdue large ani without injury. Successful tests were made at orpha paddocks. Crossbow and arrow, like the gas-powered on the page opposite, injects an immobilizer. Scientist the weapons chiefly to tag or capture animals in the Toby had been rescued as a tiny kit by a resident of Kampala, and came to us when half-grown. She soon became tame, and we built her a special walled-in enclosure with a large pond to keep her happy and contented. But Toby grew lonely; obviously she pined for a mate. We advertised for one far and wide. One morning an urgent telephone call came from a house on the outskirts of Kampala, not far from Lake Victoria: "Would you please remove a strange animal from the out side lavatory?" We raced for the spot and found to our astonishment the biggest and fiercest male marsh otter I have ever seen. Removing this ill-tempered specimen alive proved a formi dable and hazardous task. 696 The master of the house had en tered the lavatory and noticed what appeared to be his pet cat in the shad ows. He reached to stroke it, but luck ily some instinct stayed his hand. When he saw the great, flat head with gleaming fangs and hate-filled eyes, he departed like a shot. How the otter got into the lavatory, or why, is a mystery. His name must have been Houdini, for he escaped from Toby's enclosure the very first night. Toby had been terrified of him from the moment they were intro duced, and I think she shared our view that he was not the orphanage type. Prize Find: Baby Reuben The orphanage flourished. Its pop ularity grew, and we found that Af ricans living many miles from Entebbe were organizing bus parties to view the animals. The future of the or phanage seemed assured. Two major events sealed it. The first was an official visit and inspection by His Excellency Sir Frederick Crawford, then Governor of Uganda. The visit added to the pres tige of the orphanage and raised the morale of all who had worked so long to make it a success. Luckily our or phans behaved in exemplary fashion. OCIETY The second great event was Reuben. -e ad- Not long after the Governor's visit, mals the Uganda police radio network be nage gan to hum with excited messages re gun layed from the remote Virunga Moun .suse tains on the border between Uganda wild. and Rwanda. A party searching for go rillas on the mountain above Kisoro; led by gorilla-guide Reuben Rwanzagire, had found a great male gorilla lying dead with a live youngster crouched beside him, appar ently abandoned by the rest of the troop. The baby gorilla had been rescued and brought in to the Travellers Rest at Kisoro, whose proprietor, Mr. Walter Baumgartel, is an honorary Uganda game warden, as well as the local guardian of the small colony of mountain gorillas near Kisoro.* Our orphanage prepared to receive the rare find, and late one night the sleepy and bewil dered orphan arrived at Entebbe in a Land Rover, tightly clasping a bundle of wild cel *Paul A. Zahl described this colony in his "Face to Face With Gorillas in Central Africa," NATIONAL GEO GRAPHIC, January, 1960.