As the first instalment of a new segment to the A.P.P.L.E. blog I thought I would introduce a vet, whose work I have long admired. Dr. Mike Cranfield is a Co-Director of the Gorilla Doctors - Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project based in central Africa. The organisation's work takes place in the often turbulent area spanning Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The goal of Gorilla Doctors is to provide health care on an individual basis for mountain gorillas; a role which is of utmost import as the species has dwindled down to less than a thousand individuals in the wild.
(Dr. Mike Cranfield)
Dr. Cranfield was born in Peterborough, Ontario in Canada. In 1977 he completed his DVM at the University of Guelph and went on to complete his residency at the Toronto Zoo. Thereafter Dr. Cranfield moved to the Maryland zoo in Baltimore, where he still operates today. Dr. Cranfield has worked in such fields as in-vitro fertilisation of primates, malaria in penguins, captive breeding of endangered amphibians and parasites in snakes. Thirteen years ago however, Dr. Cranfield decided to take his efforts to the field to better serve endangered species both in captivity and the wild. This is when he took over the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project.
(Dr. Cranfield on right working with a mountain gorilla patient)
Dr. Cranfield continues to be an inspiration to many of us aspiring to work as wildlife clinicians in the future. His approach of working with people and animals directly has proved invaluable in protecting one of the world's most endangered species: the magnificent mountain gorilla.
Below I have embedded an interview between Dr. Cranfield and Dr. Elliot Garber. This interview is an instalment of Dr. Garber's Uncommon Veterinarians Podcast.